Angela Merkel is a pleasant practitioner of the art of suffering. She loves to share the crackpot notion that belt-tightening in times of Depression represents sound policy. Reminds me of Krugman’s statement of shock when, at a gathering of academic economists, he realized that about 1/2 of them knew little about John Manyard Keynes. Now Merkel is getting another message from the German public (this happened a few years ago but this is harsher).
Merkel’s party humiliated by shock election defeat
German voters reject austerity programme in favour of pro-growth opposition in state poll Tony Paterson, May 14, Berlin The Independent
“Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives suffered a humiliating defeat in key elections in Germany’s most populous state yesterday when voters rejected her party’s austerity policies and handed a resounding victory to her pro-growth Social Democratic Party opponents.
“Ms Merkel’s Christian Democrats were shell-shocked by the devastating result they returned in the poll in North Rhine Westphalia, which has a total population of 18 million. Exit polls showed that they secured a mere 25.5 per cent of the vote – their worst performance ever in the state.
“Germany’s conservative Environment Minister, Norbert Röttgen, the party’s candidate in the election, had mounted a vigorous campaign centred on Ms Merkel’s austerity policies, which aimed to cut the state’s €230 billion debt.
The conservatives in Germany deserve more than just electoral humiliation. Look how they are visiting total humiliation on Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Have no sympathy for these arrogant penny pinchers:
“Today is a very bitter day,” Mr Röttgen conceded last night. “We have been clearly defeated.”
“By contrast, the pro-growth Social Democrats and their candidate Hannelore Kraft, 50, romped home with 38 per cent of the vote. They were expected to form a so-called Red-Green coalition with the environmentalist Greens who won around 12 per cent of the vote. The two parties secured enough seats to obtain an absolute majority in the state parliament.”
Now here’s more humiliation for he German Cons – Guess who is coming to dinner?
“Almost the first act of President François Hollande, after he takes the oath of office in Paris tomorrow morning, will be to fly to Berlin to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. Europe-watchers will be scrutinising the proceedings closely to see if new Franco-German axis to replace “Merkozy” be a French-dominated “HoMer” or a German dominated “Merklande”. The Independent, May 14
Hollande’s first post inauguration action is to go to Berlin to tell Merkel to lay off the lousy economics. It won’t be reported but it will happen.
Merkel will lose the next election. The German conservatives will lose more than they did over the weekend. Sarkozy is gone. The Dutch Con is gone. Great Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron is teetering and about to go. He is wildly unpopular. Once re-elected, austerity-lite, President Obama, will plunge in popularity due to his stingy and ill guided ways.
Any public figure who supported the Iraq invasion and/or occupation and the policies socialism for he banks should be reminded of their utter failure, Anyone who says, ‘I’m a social issues liberal but a budget hawk should be identified as well as useless and, quite frankly, dangerous.
The arrogant, stingy, ignorant leaders who hurt their people and kill and maim the people of Libya most recently are getting electoral blowback as their victims realize that they’re survivors fully capable of taking on the forces that created the depression.
The German state of Westphalia (population 20 mil) delivered the strongest anti-austerity message.