Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic party suffered a resounding defeat in the region of Baden-Württemberg, historically a stronghold for the party.As reported by the NYT, the election marked a huge shift in favour of the Green Party, a sign that Merkel’s generally pro-nuclear stance was a major stumbling block for her.
In the days the Fukushima crisis began, Merkel has quickly moved to halt nuclear development, and review the safety of Germany’s existing plants, and the general consensus is that such actions were transparently political. Well, if they were, they didn’t help.
The ongoing bailouts in Europe don’t seem to have played a huge role, although the impact will be felt.
For some, today’s election is “the beginning of the end” for Merkel. Jakob Augstein, a German commentator and publisher, wrote last week on Spiegel Online that if the CDU is ousted in the “conservative heartland” of Baden-Württemberg, her position will be untenable.
“If the CDU is threatened with defeat here, then bad mistakes have been made. Merkel has made mistakes. And in her attempt to rectify the consequences, she has made even more,” he said. “She has lost her political intuition.”
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