10 October 2005

Who is Angela Merkel?

Angela Merkel, AP Photo

Deutsche Welle has a nice writeup, "Kohl's Girl" Makes Good.

The young woman from eastern Germany was lacking the attributes long associated with political success. She did not work through the ranks as a political foot soldier, had no support network of troops in key positions, and little eloquence or media charisma.

Angela Merkel, now in her second marriage -- to a chemistry professor, Joachim Sauer -- is proud of her Christian roots, which she says, only grew stronger growing up in communist East Germany.

"I do not think we can ignore that Europe was fundamentally influenced by the Judeo-Christian tradition, and that a large part of Europe has its roots there," she said. "Most of Europe experienced the period of Enlightenment and that was a very important phase in the development of Christianity. We cannot simply ignore this and say we are neutral. What, then, would be the source of our values?"

The cabinet seats have been divided up between the leading parties and now the next round of political games begins: Coalition talks to form a government. As this is not a political blog, I won't give you my opinion. I'll just share a quote from former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, also from Deutsche Welle.

Deutsche Welle: Two years ago, you said: "Grand coalition means grand stalemate." Now it seems likely we'll soon see a grand coalition of the Christian Union parties and the Social Democrats in government. What's your view of the immediate future?

Genscher: My opinion is unchanged: A grand coalition always means a two-way blockade culminating in wrong decisions. Today when people talk about how federalism reform is necessary, it's actually the call to finally undo what the grand coalition of 1966-1969 did wrong. That does not inspire confidence.

More from David's Medienkritik.

No comments: