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German grand coalition revived

February 9th, 2018

Columnists wonder whether the grand coalition led by Angela Merkel will restore Germany’s stability, and whether the new German government’s policies will be favorable for Hungary.

In Magyar Nemzet, Gábor Stier believes that the coalition deal struck by the CDU/ CSU and the Social Democrats will restore political stability in Germany. Thanks to the grand coalition, Germany will remain the dominant power in Europe, the conservative columnist believes. Stier hopes that the new German government will prefer a flexible approach towards Europe’s multi-speed reality, to French President Macron’s vision of a deeply integrated core Europe that would further marginalize peripheral countries including Hungary.

Magyar Hírlap’s Szilvia Harle, by way of contrast, believes the coalition agreement adds to, rather than ends German instability. Disputes are bound to arise within the grand coalition of the CDU-CSU and the SPD, he suggests. Most importantly,  CSU leader Seehofer as Interior Minister will follow a tough anti-immigration line, whereas Foreign Minister Schulz is known for his more accommodative stance on migration, Harle notes. She goes on to remark that the coalition partners have divergent vision concerning the future of European integration as well. Harle adds that the SPD membership is deeply divided about the grand coalition, and they may yet vote down their leaders’ decision to join Angela Merkel’s government.

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