Angela Merkel wins 4th term as Chancellor of Germany


Germany is a very powerful country in Europe. Its capital and largest city is Berlin. It is the largest economy in Europe. This means that it earns the most money in Europe through the many businesses that are there.

Photo Credit: Sputnik International

Angela Merkel has been Germany’s leader (Chancellor) since 2005.

In her three terms (12 years) as Chancellor some of her noteworthy achievements are:

  • Germany has taken in around 1 million refugees from Syria because it recognised their plight and wanted to help them.
  • Germany has made a commitment that all its nuclear power stations will be shutdown by 2022. These power stations were being used to create renewable nuclear energy, but she realised that any accident with these stations could cause huge damage to humans.
  • ‘Kindergeld’ (child support) has been increased to help parents raising children. This means that parents can leave their children with well qualified and loving caregivers and both go to work. They can then improve their chances of earning enough money for their families.
  • The unemployment rate has come down. It is the lowest it has been since 1980! 3.7 percent of Germans are unemployed. This means that somewhere between 3 and 4 people out of 100 do not have a job. That’s pretty low! That’s in-line with what it apparently is in India, and lower than the 4.3% in America.

Germany has been in the news because they recently held elections. On Monday this week, Angela Merkel has been re-elected as Chancellor for a fourth term.

How do the elections in Germany work? The Chancellor is not elected directly. Citizens vote for people to serve in a federal government called the Bundestag. Whichever party gets the most votes in that group gets to suggest the Chancellor. Angela Merkel is a member of the CSU/CDU party. This party got the most seats on Sunday, so Merkel gets to stay on as leader. 

Not all roses for Merkel: The outcome of the election wasn’t that good for Merkel. It’s true that she will get to stay in power, but her party may have received the fewest votes since 1949!

Why is that you ask? As many as six different political parties may have won seats in the Bundestag. This includes a group called Alternative for Deutschland (Germany) (AfD). With this election, the AfD will have a seat in the Bundestag for the first time. It’s the first extreme right party to join Germany’s federal government in more than 50 years.

Far right? What’s that? The AfD is for Germans and against people of other ethnicities in their country.

How do Merkel and the AfD disagree? They disagree on many fronts. For example, Merkel has allowed many refugees to come to Germany in order to stay safe. But AfD’s leaders do not support this, as they believe Germany is safer and stronger without letting refugees into the country.

What does Merkel aim to do in her fourth term? She wants to improve the electric grid for electrically driven cars, continue the policies favouring care for children, and improve security in the country amongst other important objectives. Her main goal for the next term is to try and win the voters back.

Merkel may be the most powerful woman in the entire world. She still called her party “the strongest force” in Germany. However, her rule may be a little less solid in the years to come.

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