Germany is counting down the days until the Bundestag elections. The country will head to the polls on Sunday to name a successor to Angela Merkel. We discuss opinion polls with Rimko Andersen, whose German correspondent will start with this election.
On Sunday, Germany is set to elect a new parliament. We have known for some time that current Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) will not return. The big question is: Who will succeed her?
The Social Democratic Socialist Party headed by Olaf Schulz has been on the right track for some time. This party is a few percentage points ahead of the CDU. It keeps shifting a bit. If you look at the latest poll, the SPD is at 25 percent and the CDU at 22 percent. Of course they are very concerned about that at Charles Darwin University.
Every evening there are debates between the parties. Sunday was an important meeting between the leaders of the three big parties: Annalena Barbuk of the Greens, Armin Laschet of the CDU and Schulze of the SPD. It is clear that the latter received the most sympathy from viewers.
What are the topics of this election?
It has a lot to do with the climate here. Germans are fully aware of its importance. That is why the Social Democratic Party, especially the Green Party, is very popular among young people. But the far-reaching consequences of climate policy are also more evident here. Take, for example, the lignite mines in Saxony-Anhalt. In order to achieve climate goals, they must be closed in large numbers. But then there are a lot of employees on the street. Many people are concerned about that.
Germany is divided into camps for and against the car. People can argue about it at parties. I spoke to a couple from Saarland, the heart of the CDU. They said: If we vote for the Greens, we will all have to drive electric. Then life becomes much more expensive.
Germany is also deeply divided over nuclear power. But there are now parties on the right side of the spectrum eager to get started.
Another very important topic is digitization. Germany, and especially the government here, is hopelessly behind in this regard. Sometimes I still get emails with a fax number to confirm something. For example, the liberal Free Democratic Party is working hard to finally bring Germany into the twenty-first century. On the other hand, Germans are very sensitive to data collection. Many people also find digitizing services a little intimidating.
Your correspondence begins with this election. What kind of picture have you got of Germany in recent days?
My impression is that the German voter here is more aware of his role in the democratic process. Elections are lively: people think carefully about the topics they find important and who to vote for next. But they also suffer from it.
Several elections will be held on Sunday. In my hometown of Berlin, elections for the federal state and local municipalities also take place. I see a lot of election posters here.
“As a journalist, it’s very interesting for me to be here. I’ve been in Germany for three weeks now, working a week and a half out of it. It’s an instant baptism of fire. This is a historic election, 16 years after Merkel’s existence, that has set the course for what I believe is the most powerful country in the union.” European It is my great pleasure.
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