Differences over immigration, climate change and eurozone reforms remain divisive points in the Germany, which has seen marginal parties like the AfD (Alternative for Deutschland) and the Greens increase their influence in the Bundestag.
Sputnik spoke with Professor h.c. Dr. Peter W. Schulze of the University Of Goettingen, to gain an insight into the current political situation in Germany.
Sputnik: Will Merkel succeed in forming a coalition government?
Professor Schulze: Yes, Merkel can not only form a coalition with the Greens, but the liberals as well, because the CDU and CSU, plus the Greens don't have the majority in the Bundestag — the German parliament — so it has to be a coalition, otherwise it is not going to work.
Merkel is doomed to do this, because otherwise there is the threat of new elections, which would mean, basically, a kind of vote on mistrust to her, to the CDU, to the CSU, and the other coalition parties, so I don't think she's going to enter such a risky situation.
She will do everything possible, even stretch herself back to accommodate the Greens and other parties.
Sputnik: Is there a threat of increasing right-wing populism in Germany?
Professor Schulze: There is no threat of right-wing populism at all in Germany and has never been. The so-called hype in the media is totally out of order and it's bonkers to a certain degree because the AfD, is a national patriotic conservative party has nothing to do with extremism or terrorism of any affiliation.
In this regard, the party has been put by the media by mainstream parties into a kind of dark corner where things could be thrown at the party, and I hope only that the party does not take this too seriously and comes out and tries to engage in societal dialogue of the real burning issues of our German society.
These is of course the issue of Russia, the issue of the Ukrainian situation, and most importantly, of course, how can we stop the immigration flow from North Africa.
Sputnik: How long will Merkel remain in power?
Professor Schulze: I think she has seen her senate and there's kind of a dark period looming. She will have probably another one and half or three years maximum, maybe a couple months more, to find a new successor and during this time of let's say, from today to two and a half years from now, it is not only a challenge for her to find an acceptable successor, but as well, to redirect the problematic discussion with the Christian Democrats away from being too left-leaning and towards a more central position and this is very difficult.