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Germany wants Merkel out

SPD conference unenthusiastically backs grand coalition talks with Merkel

Alexander Mercouris

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The German parliamentary elections last September made obvious the growing disillusionment of more and more Germans with the stagnant government presided over by Germany’s perpetual Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The two parties which made up Merkel’s government – the CDU/CSU and the SPD – suffered the worst results they have each experienced since the Second World War.

A new party – the AfD – gained prominence, so that Germany’s two ‘non-system’ parties – the AfD and the leftist Die Linke, which is the inheritor of Germany’s very old and very strong Communist and left wing tradition – now between them command around a fifth of the vote.

The proper outcome to such a result would have been for the two party leaders who presided over this debacle – Angela Merkel and the SPD’s Martin Schulz – to go, making room for some of the impressive younger politicians to be found in both their respective parties.

If it still proved impossible to construct a government after those two leaders had gone, then new elections should have been called, as regularly happens in all other mature democracies.

Certainly there was no cause to treat the situation as a crisis, and it was absurd to treat the result as one.

Instead Merkel and Schulz are still there, and despite previous promises that he would not do so, Schulz allowed himself to be strong armed into negotiating with Merkel to reconstitute what despite denials is effectively the same government that did so badly in the September elections in order to avert a ‘crisis’ the threat of which never existed.

The paradox is that it is precisely this course – undertaken purportedly to avert a crisis which was never threatened – which could potentially create a crisis in Germany.

It should be said clearly that in effect denying the verdict of the elections is the worst possible response to the elections in September.  Inevitably and rightly, it will be seen by much of the German population – including many of the grassroots members of the SPD – as an establishment stitch up against the voters at a time when the voters are becoming increasingly angry and disillusioned.

Far from bringing stability to Germany, a government reconstructed in such a way would be bound to be weak and unpopular, and would be unlikely to survive very long.

In effect, by trying to extend the existence of Merkel’s ‘grand coalition’ government beyond its natural life, Germany’s political establishment is undermining the very political stability in Germany which they say they are consolidating.

The result is an all but certain eventual unravelling, leading to fresh elections, which will result in a further significant increase in the votes for Die Linke and the AfD, which will make formation of a government by the traditional ‘system’ parties – the CDU/CSU, the SDP and the Free Democrats – much more difficult, setting the scene for a real crisis in Germany.

The primary blame for this unhappy situation rests with Merkel and the conservative establishment of the SPD.

In Merkel’s case the results of the September election and the subsequent failure to create a ‘Jamaica’ coalition with the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens should have made clear to her what was on any objective analysis obvious: that her time as German Chancellor – like all things – is over and she should go.  It was the moment when she should have stepped aside and made room for someone else.

In the case of the conservative establishment of the SPD – which includes the nation’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier – it ought to have been obvious that their party was in need of fresh thinking and new leadership, which it could only successfully achieve in opposition.

Instead Merkel – all too characteristically – has chosen to cling on, though the September election revealed the degree to which she has lost support and is now bereft of ideas, whilst despite Schulz’s protestations to the contrary the conservative establishment of the SPD comes across as far too comfortable in government and far closer ideologically to Merkel than it is to the SPD’s grass roots and its voters.

It is still not certain that this conspiracy by Germany’s neoliberal political establishment against the wishes of most German voters – which is what this proposal to revive Merkel’s ‘grand coalition’ effectively is – will succeed.

The SPD conference which voted to support Schultz’s proposal to negotiate the terms of another ‘grand coalition’ government with Merkel gave him only tepid support.

Not only was Schulz received unenthusiastically at the conference – there were even moments during his speech when he was actually booed – but the conference appeared evenly divided on the issue, forcing a ballot which Schulz won with the support of only 58% of the delegates.

With the SPD’s youth wing strongly opposed to a coalition deal with Merkel, and with powerful sections of the SPD in places like North Rhine Westphalia also opposed – it is far from being a foregone conclusion that if or when a final coalition deal is put to a ballot of the SPD’s membership – as it must be = they will approve it.

Needless to say if the SPD votes against a coalition deal with Merkel, then I would expect her to resign and after a short time a new election to be called.

It is to be earnestly hoped in Germany’s and Europe’s interests that this is what happens.

The view that because the German economy appears at the moment to be doing rather well political instability in Germany does not matter is far too complacent.

Firstly, I doubt that Germany’s present economic good times will last for much longer.

Secondly, one of the reasons why I doubt they will last for much longer is precisely because of the stagnation of policy which has been the hallmark of Merkel’s long reign as Germany’s Chancellor is allowing problems to accumulate.

What Germany needs is new strong leadership that can chart a clear course ahead, not a prolongation of a rejected and increasingly discredited status quo.

Whether they realise the fact or not the intensely risk averse neoliberal political establishment in the name of ‘stability’ is creating the conditions for a future political crisis in Germany

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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