Sunday’s election marked an unprecedented point for Germany’s political landscape. While the electoral run-up did not garner as much uproar as did their American counterparts, few can argue with the drama of the outcome. While Angela Merkel firmly consolidated her Fourth term in office, there was a marked shake-up with several other parties grasping at the Bundestag seats. Of note was the emergence of the Alternative fur Deutschland [AfD], an extreme right party in the country.

Popular demand or demanding by the populous

In Germany’s history, it has not been uncommon for chancellors to serve fairly long terms.

As an example, the late Helmut Kohl served as chancellor for 16 years. On the whole, for as long as the majority still believe in and support the institution of the chancellor, their term can persist. However, Merkel has proposed a number of policies that have struck the wrong nerve with a huge part of the German public. Her somewhat controversial asylum regulations, for instance, led to Alexander Gauland, deputy chairman of the AfD accusing her of being a ‘dictator.’ This sentiment was indeed echoed by the divided voter turnout in the election.

Implications for the Eurozone

The current issues in Europe are wide and far-reaching. The influx of migrants into the block, and the sensational departure of the UK, Brexit, are just but a few examples.

In light of this, Merkel sitting for a fourth term may be seen as an encouraging signal of stability. It is, however, important to note the self-serving nature of her economic policies which have largely played to the detriment of countries such as Greece. A propensity to lay down austerity measures in times of economic decline has led to countries such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic failing to see eye to eye with the chancellor.

It is this failure to prioritize a more united Eurozone that may spell doom for the region.

Reform may be on the horizon

Considering the outcome of the elections, it would be untrue to suggest that Merkel has completely lost the confidence of the German electorate. That said, the emergence of the numerous parties taking a claim in the Bundestag opens up an array of possibilities.

One such prospect is a coalition or alliance between the Democrats and Leftists that may further consolidate their power. In the absence of such developments, Merkel will still have to assert her position both in Europe and the wider world. With President Trump bent on making ‘America Great Again’ and the UK finalizing Brexit in 2019, it is not too difficult to guess where Merkel’s dice will fall.

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