15:25 GMT +318 November 2018
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    Christian Democratic Union Chairwoman and German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a faction meeting of her ruling Christian Union parties at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

    Scholar: Pressure on Merkel has Definitely Increased

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    Angela Merkel has told senior CDU members that she does not intend to carry on as party leader. Sputnik spoke to Dr Daniel Roeder, from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, for his take on the developments.

    Sputnik: Will this increased pressure on Merkel, in fact force her to resign?

    Dr Daniel Roeder: It is an increased pressure, absolutely, and Mrs Merkel has already reacted — she will remain Chancellor for the electoral period but she will not run again for the head of the CDU party and she will also not be in the next Bundestag so therefore it is clear that after this period she will be in no official function anymore.

    Sputnik: She herself has said in the past that the position of chancellor and the head of the party should be held only by one person, so this may have influenced her decision.

    Dr Daniel Roeder: Yes that’s clear, as you said the pressure has definitely increased and the results in Hesse as well as in Bavaria were disastrous for her party and this means that of course there need to be some consequences. I think that the coalition, they will continue to work, this is at least what the heads of the party said, I don’t see any immediate break-up of that, but the head of the party will definitely change in December.

    Sputnik: The AfD is now present in every German state, something which would have been unheard of decades ago. To what extent is Merkel’s open doors policy to migrants to blame for this?

    Dr Daniel Roeder: Indeed it is unheard of, even five years ago. I wouldn’t have believed that this would happen. The root cause – I have difficulty in saying there is just one root cause for that. If you look at other states – not just in Europe but all over the world, I think it’s a global phenomenon that we have a right-wing shift these days. But of course, I think yes, the AfD and other nationalist organizations clearly took advantage of the open door policy in 2015 and try to base their success on that. They are triggering the fear of people and this has definitely played a role in that. But I think there are more than one root causes.

    Sputnik: What do you think is part of this broader trend in Europe moving to the right?

    Dr Daniel Roeder: I think all of us – we are still struggling in our analysis – but to me it is clear that people feel we are experiencing a global change to the digital world and globalization as such is something that people think politics has not really managed well. So there is a lot of fear around in this transition phase and people do not see an appropriate concept – how we can manage and master that. And politicians are traditionally and even these days kind of short-sighted. There is no long-term plan of how to cope with it and how to manage the transition phase and how to manage globalization. And yes, I think this is a significant root cause for that right-wing shift.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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