The return of German politics by Joschka Fischer

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After 16 years as Chancellor Angela Merkel, it has become difficult for Germans to imagine a government led by someone else. But two defeats for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union open the prospect of a new era in German politics, where high-stakes decisions will finally have to be made.

BERLIN – Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign as German Chancellor is coming to an end. Whatever feelings we have for her, she left her mark on a whole era. But political eras rarely end quietly, and “Mutti’s” long farewell is no exception.

German electoral politics have finally started to heat up. The first two regional elections of what will be a super election year have shown the possibility that the federal elections of September 26 may produce a new governing coalition without Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and her sister Bavarian party, the Christian Union- social.

In Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, large losses for the CDU coincided with equally large gains for the Greens and a stable share of votes for the Free Democrats (FDP). Thus, it is now a question of a possible coalition “at the traffic lights” between the Social Democrats (red), the FDP (yellow) and the Greens. Suddenly, a change of government in Berlin seems like a realistic possibility.

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