Category: Daily

An interview with Christian Kern

IN THIS week's issue of The Economist I have a report from Austria on the growing fractures in the country's politics and society. Here are the opening paragraphs: TO UNDERSTAND Austria, visit the Karl-Marx-Hof. This vast municipal housing complex in…

/ June 2, 2017

An interview with Wolfgang Ischinger

WOLFGANG ISCHINGER knows German foreign policy. He was the country’s deputy foreign minister from 1998 to 2001. He was its ambassador to Washington from 2001 to 2006. Then he spent two years as its man in London. Since then he…

/ May 30, 2017

How to understand Angela Merkel’s comments about America and Britain

THE CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU, hosted a political rally in a tent in eastern Munich today. It was all very local and friendly: the chancellor arrived to a brass-band serenade and had to battle her…

/ May 28, 2017

Triumph for Angela Merkel in Germany’s most populous state

EARLY last month, Martin Schulz addressed a rally of his Social Democratic Party (SPD) at the Zollverein, a coal-mining complex in the Ruhr Valley in western Germany. To this pumped-up crowd in the party’s industrial heartland he proclaimed that if…

/ May 14, 2017

Angela Merkel should seize this chance to remake Europe

GERMAN celebrations of Emmanuel Macron’s victory had barely begun last night when the first arguments about it broke out. The French president-elect’s longstanding calls for a “new deal” between his country and Germany were the impetus. In return for French…

/ May 8, 2017

On the “hipster election” in Schleswig-Holstein

ON SUNDAY France goes to the polls. Emmanuel Macron will win and the far-right Front National will do better than in any presidential election to date. So all eyes will be on Paris. Yet far to the north another, less…

/ May 5, 2017

The triumph of Alexander Gauland

SOME political parties have a habit of airing their dirty linen in public. The right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is one of them. At its conference in Cologne this weekend the total marginalisation of Frauke Petry, its co-chair and until…

/ April 23, 2017

What France’s election means for Germany

IN MAY 2012 a freshly elected François Hollande took off for Germany on his first foreign visit as president, determined to forge a close alliance with Angela Merkel. His plane was hit by lightning and had to turn back to…

/ April 23, 2017

Who is Peter Altmaier and why does he matter?

IF YOU pass the vast, glass-walled chancellery in Berlin at night, you will often see a solitary room illuminated high on its northern side. That is Peter Altmaier's office, a few strides away from Angela Merkel's own eyrie on the…

/ April 12, 2017

A primer on the AfD wars

IT IS a well-established truth that fast-rising political parties outside the political mainstream are prone to division. The National Front (FN) in France has a latitudinal split: its northern outposts are marked by economic statism, its southern ones by a…

/ April 8, 2017

A political audit of Martin Schulz

SHORTLY after his emergence as the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz was interviewed on “Anne Will”, one of Germany's top political talk-shows. Quizzed on his prospects of victory he observed that the SPD had picked up about ten points…

/ April 7, 2017

Introducing Kaffeeklatsch: a new blog about German politics

IT IS, to put it mildly, a big year for Germany. In the era of Trump, its neighbours and partners are looking to the country for new leadership. Debates about its defence, its vast trade surplus, its handling of the…

/ April 4, 2017