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2012 & Beyond: German Elections Focus on Eurozone


Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 31, 2012 Last Updated: January 3, 2013
Related articles: World » Europe
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the EU Headquarters for a European People's Party (EPP) enlarged summit in Brussels on Dec. 13, 2012. Germany's leading role in handling Europe's debt crisis will give a wider importance to the country's federal elections in 2013. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the EU Headquarters for a European People's Party (EPP) enlarged summit in Brussels on Dec. 13, 2012. Germany's leading role in handling Europe's debt crisis will give a wider importance to the country's federal elections in 2013. (John Thys/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s parliamentary election in the fall of 2013 will be one of the most significant events of the year in Europe. The nation has an integral role in eurozone restructuring and in managing the European debt crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to remain in power, according to the polls. Confidence in her leadership has been boosted by Germany’s strong economic performance and low unemployment rates amid a raging crisis on the continent.

Economic growth predictions for the nation are shrinking, however, and a possible recession in 2013 could hurt Merkel’s reputation.

The labor-friendly Social Democratic Party (SPD), the main opposition party, chose former Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück to challenge Merkel. Observers doubt Steinbrück can build on his economic expertise to gain enough votes for the victory. 

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) may remain in power, but a shift could take place in the Bundestag (German parliament). SPD’s coalition partner, the Green Party, has significant support, while CDU’s coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party, has drastically declined in popularity. New coalitions may form. 

The chancellor’s challenge will be keeping the euro alive, and explaining to German voters why it is important to dedicate national resources to eurozone stabilization.

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