[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

Disabled Vet Faces Life In Prison for Treating PTSD with Pot

Chris Christie Enters Presidential Race

Poll: Obama Millennials Want to Leave the America They Created

Former Cop Admitted to Sexually Assaulting a Toddler But This Sicko Won’t Be Going to Prison

TV Land pulls ‘Dukes’ — Confederate flag a no-no

Putin: America Is Godless, ‘Morally Bankrupt,’ And On The ‘Path Of Degradation’

Greek pensioners besiege banks to grab cash

Demystifying The Tragically Hip’s “Fifty Mission Cap”

The national government gives no dignity, but plenty of preference, tyranny, and death

Authorities: Gay slur carved into Utah man's arm was staged

Charles County Toddler Found Dead Being Pushed in Swing Was There for Two Days

Former Federal Judge Slams Drug War, Compares Effects to Aftermath of World War II

How Chris Christie Used A Manufactured Terrorist Plot To Boost His Political Career

The Official Pedophile Flag

Nail Salon Owner Sues For Return Of Life Savings Seized By DEA Agents At Airport

Progressive Mass Hysteria by Victor Davis Hanson

ISIS Burns CIA Opium Fields in Afghanistan

Email bombshells from Hillary's secret account show she didn't know when cabinet meetings were held, was dumbfounded by a fax machine and emailed aides to fetch her iced tea

Big Fat Greeks, and Weddings

Breaking! TRUMP SUES UNIVISION!!

BREAKING NEWS: GREECE ‘DEFAULTS’ – So Is It Eurogeddon, Or Has Nothing Much Changed?

Test Pilot Admits the F-35 CanÂ’t Dogfight

Here’s What Happened When Gay, Libertarian Open-Carry Advocates Strapped on Their Guns and Attended a Seattle Pride Event

Historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox head 'getting closer'

Oklahoma Supreme Court orders removal of Ten Commandments monument

Rand Paul meets with Cliven Bundy on Nevada campaign stop

UFC champ thanks Jesus post-fight; left-wingers call it ‘hateful,’ demand apology

Colorado Court Rules Use of Public Funds for Private Schools Is Unconstitutional

Law Enforcement More Concerned About Anti-government Activists Than Al-Qaeda Terrorists

Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country

Wife of high-ranking Illuminati member tells all! Hear all the intense details now

Family Raided by SWAT and their Dog Shot, for Being Unable to Pay Utility Bill

A Poor And A Rich Compete In Giving Alms

The Emergence Of Orwellian Newspeak And The Death Of Free Speech

Supreme Court Imposes Gay Marriage On A Divided America–What Next?

Russia Doesn't Quite Know How To React To U.S. 'Gayification'

Mom Charged With Endangerment for Letting 7-Year-Old Play in Park Right Across the Street

PD Officer Dance With a Gay Pride Parade Marcher

Time to free Puerto Rico as it asks for relief of $72 Billion in debt from US Taxpayers

Future fag in training

Carly Fiorina emerges as rising Republican star at Western Conservative Summit

The Sentence That Could Doom the Iran Deal

Will Churches Be Forced To Conduct Gay Weddings?

Greek Investigator’s Report Finds Evidence of Plot Against Former Conservative Prime Minister's Life by Bush era CIA to stop Russian pipeline/arms deals

Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages

OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO

Coulter to PJM: Cut Off All Immigration, Focus on White Voters to Win

Mind Altering Drugs

SWAT team enters wrong home, homeowner cited for window broken by police


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

International News
See other International News Articles

Title: Merkel's Party Routed In Big German State
Source: REUTERS
URL Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012 ... w-result-idUSBRE84C09G20120513
Published: May 13, 2012
Author: REUTERS
Post Date: 2012-05-13 19:31:51 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 248

By Stephen Brown

DUESSELDORF, Germany | Sun May 13, 2012 12:49pm EDT

(Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany's most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up its criticism of her European austerity policies.

The election in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a western German state with a bigger population than the Netherlands and an economy the size of Turkey, was held 18 months before a national election in which Merkel is expected to fight for a third term.

She remains popular in Germany for her steady handling of the euro zone debt crisis, but the sheer scale of her party's defeat leaves her vulnerable at a time when a backlash against her insistence on fiscal discipline is building across Europe.

According to first projections, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) won 38.8 percent of the vote and will have enough to form a stable majority with the Greens, who scored 12.2 percent.

The two left-leaning parties had run a fragile minority government for the past two years under popular SPD leader Hannelore Kraft, whose decisive victory on Sunday could propel her to national prominence.

Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) saw their support plunge to just 25.8 percent, down from nearly 35 percent in 2010, and the worst result in the state since World War Two.

"This is not a good evening for Merkel," said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at Berlin's Free University.

"The SPD is strengthened by this election, which will stir things up in Berlin."

The blow comes only two days before France's new president, Socialist Francois Hollande, is due to visit Berlin and press Merkel for a shift away from austerity and more emphasis on growth-oriented measures in Europe.

Other big countries like Italy also want Merkel to take a more balanced approach to the debt crisis and an election in Greece last week showed massive public resistance to tough austerity.

SPD MOMENTUM

Hollande's victory, coupled with the NRW result, is bound to give the SPD, which still trails Merkel in national opinion polls, new momentum before the federal vote in the autumn of 2013.

The chancellor needs the support of her rivals to pass a new "fiscal compact" that is meant to anchor budget discipline across the EU. The SPD is already pressing her to delay a parliamentary vote on the pact, keen for her to commit to new growth measures beforehand.

Many in her party will blame the result on regional leader Norbert Roettgen, Merkel's environment minister in Berlin, who bungled his campaign early on by refusing to commit to staying in the state in the event of a loss.

Roettgen ran on a platform of budget consolidation in a state that, with 180 billion euros in debt, is Germany's most indebted. Kraft, on the other hand, advocated a go-slowly approach to debt reduction, emphasizing the need to invest in cities, education and childcare.

In that sense, the result will be seen by some as a double defeat for Merkel. Voters in NRW not only rejected her party but also the austerity measures that she has forced on struggling southern states like Greece, Spain and Portugal.

The Free Democrats (FDP), a pro-business party that rules in coalition with Merkel's conservatives at the federal level, scored 8.6 percent to make it back into the state assembly. The party hailed the result as proof of a comeback after a collapse in support over the last three years.

The upstart Pirates, a new party that campaigns for internet freedom, continued their strong run at regional level, making it into their fourth straight state parliament, winning 7.6 percent of the vote.

NRW, a diverse state with struggling cities in the rust-belt Ruhr region and home to one third of Germany's blue-chip companies, has a history of influencing national politics.

Seven years ago, a humiliating loss for then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's SPD in the state prompted him to call early elections, which he subsequently lost to Merkel.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com