Historic victory for Germany's Merkel

At a time of growing concerns on the future of European economies, the majority of Germans saw Merkel as a reliable and successful leader.

Historic victory for Germany's Merkel

World Bulletin/News Desk

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s elections victory on Sunday constitutes a historic success.

In Germany’s recent history, only two other conservative leaders managed to win elections for a third term. They were Konrad Adenauer, from 1949 to 1963, and Helmut Kohl, from 1982 to 1998.

While the Euro crisis unseated strong political leaders in most European countries including Greece, Italy and Spain, German Chancellor Angela Merkel consolidated her power, and even increased her party alliance votes by almost 8 points from 33.8 in 2009 to 41.7 in 2013.

During the early hours of the vote count, Merkel’s Christian Democrats even hoped to win an absolute majority in the federal parliament.

Germans feel comfortable with economy policies

For many analysts, the German government’s recent economic success at home influenced Angela Merkel's historic victory. Despite the Eurozone's long-running sovereign debt crisis, the German economy continued growing in the last three years. Germany's unemployment rate – around 6.8 percent in August – is near its lowest in two decades.

A survey based on interviews with 105 thousand voters on election night revealed that the majority of Germans feel comfortable with the Merkel government's economic policies, while expressing fears for the future.

While Merkel’s Euro policies and her insistence on austerity measures are highly controversial abroad, 60 percent of Germans said that they support these measures.

73 percent of those surveyed said that they have not been directly affected by the Euro crisis so far.  But 50 percent of them added that they have concerns about the future of their savings.

58 percent of Germans favored the economy policies of the CDU/CSU, and 51 percent of Germans said the CDU/CSU had a competent employment policy.

40 percent of Germans who voted for the CDU/CSU alliance on Sunday said that they did so due to their support of Angela Merkel.

Merkel more popular than her party

Merkel’s approval ratings had long been stronger than support for her CDU/CSU alliance.

71 percent of Germans expressed recently that they are satisfied with the Chancellor's political performance.

Despite Merkel's high approval ratings, Germany’s main opposition party SPD failed to put forward a strong contender.

Even before elections, polls showed that the majority of German voters preferred Angela Merkel to Peer Steinbrueck, the SPD's candidate for the Chancellery.

According to a poll by Infratest dimap, 58 percent of Germans said they would vote for Merkel if the Chancellor were directly elected. Only 34 percent favored Steinbrueck.

84 percent of the electorate believes Merkel represents Germany positively in the international arena. 60 percent of respondents said they believe Merkel prioritizes national interests over daily politics.

Last Mod: 23 Eylül 2013, 09:51
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