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    Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a statement before exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government at the SPD headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 7, 2018

    German 'System is in a State of Transition' – Political Analyst

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    While German political parties strive to broker a new coalition government, it appears that the latest parliamentary election in the country may have heralded the rise of a new type of political leader.

    As the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union begin talks on forming a coalition government, SPD secretary general Lars Klingbeil described the negotiations as “serious, constructive and open.”

    Commenting on this development during an interview with Radio Sputnik, Dr Patricia Hogwood, Reader in European Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, described the situation in Germany as “more of a crisis and less of a crisis” and that “the system is in a state of transition.”

    "What we see is a start of a movement towards political leaders who use a party – either a new party or a reinvented old party – as a personal vehicle. In this last election, the new FDP liberal leader, Christian Lindner, tried to use the structures of the old FDP in a similar way. He was in the center of the collapse of the first coalition negotiations in Germany… because he was gambling that if he could engineer a fresh election people would increasingly vote for his new style of politics and this would transform the system in a much more radical transformation process," Hogwood explained.

    She also noted that "Germans are generally more aware of the consequences of political instability” due to their “parents’ and grandparents’ experiences during and after the Second World War."

    "So, people are much more afraid of the possibility of political insecurity. When the first round of negotiations failed, the so called Jamaica coalition talks, people were very concerned about not having a stable government," she said.

    Hogwood pointed out that if these talks fail, the SPD is likely to shoulder the blame because in the immediate aftermath of last September's federal elections its leader Martin Schulz announced his party's refusal to enter another coalition with Merkel. And even though both parties have a number of differences — “stumbling blocks” — as she put it, the SPD and CDU/CSU can overcome them.

    "There’s potential for resolution and it’s most likely that Merkel will be able take advantage of it," she surmised.

    The views and opinions expressed by Patricia Hogwood are those of the analyst and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    negotiations, coalition government, Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Social-Democratic Party (SDP), Martin Schulz, Angela Merkel, Germany
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