United Germany 4

United Germany Part IV

The black-yellow coalition was initially unable to benefit from the unexpectedly strong economic upturn after the financial crisis was overcome, due to discussions about financial and energy policy. In 2010, in the face of strong opposition, the government decided to extend the life of the nuclear power plants by an average of twelve years. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in March 2011, the government made a U-turn in order to move into the supply of renewable energies more quickly. The seven oldest nuclear power plants were initially shut down for three months (moratorium). In May 2011, the coalition agreed on a complete nuclear phase-out until 2022. In addition, the seven oldest power plants and the Krümmel nuclear power plant were not put back into operation. On June 30, 2011, the Bundestag approved the project. Learn more about Germany and Europe, please click businesscarriers.com.

After the unsatisfactory performance of the governing parties in state elections in early 2011, v. a. disputes in the FDP. Foreign Minister Westerwelle declared on April 3, 2011 that he would not run again for the office of party chairman. His successor, also as Vice Chancellor, was P. Rösler .

The uncovering of the terrorist cell National Socialist Underground (NSU) in November 2011 sparked long-lasting controversy about right-wing extremism and the failure of security authorities, in particular the protection of the constitution. The Bundestag set up a committee of inquiry on January 26, 2012.

From 2010/11, the euro crisis came into the focus of government action. To contain it, the Bundestag approved an increase in the German guarantee framework for the financial stabilization mechanism (EFSF) from € 123 to € 211 billion on September 29, 2011. On February 27, 2012, it approved a second aid package for Greece amounting to € 130 billion (extended in 2015 and a third aid package) and on June 29, 2012, together with the Federal Council, the European Fiscal Compact and Permanent Euro Rescue Package (ESM). On September 12, 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected several requests for an interim order to prevent the ratification of the ESM Treaty and the Fiscal Compact. The court demanded, among other things, that the liability limit for Germany (around € 190 billion) could only be changed with the involvement of the Bundestag. To further stabilize the euro area, the European aid program for Cyprus (loan of 10 billion euros) was passed on April 18, 2013.

As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2011 and 2012, Germany was confronted with the effects of the Arab Spring. Germany abstained from the decision on the implementation of a no-fly zone in the Libya conflict (March 2011). The German stance led to controversial discussions within the EU and NATO. In December 2012 the Bundestag approved the deployment of a missile defense system (“Patriot”) with the participation of up to 400 soldiers in Turkey on the border with the civil war country Syria by a large majority. This is what Turkey tried to do within NATO (deployment until November 2015).

In the state elections in early 2013, the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) established itself as a party. The focus of domestic political disputes was on social and tax policy. In June, disclosures by the former technical employee of the American intelligence service NSA E. Snowden (* 1983) about NSA spying actions in computers of Internet and telecommunications companies became known. The NSA also spied communication data in Germany. These findings led to irritations in relations with the USA.

The elections for the 18th German Bundestag on September 22, 2013 were won by the Union under the leadership of Chancellor Merkel by a wide margin. The CDU and CSU were able to unite 41.5% of the votes and only narrowly missed the absolute majority of the mandates. The SPD, with its candidate for chancellor P. Steinbrück, recorded only slight gains in votes compared to 2009. The FDP was punished by the voters. For the first time in West German history, the party missed the leap into parliament with 4.8% of the vote. A continuation of the Christian-liberal coalition was no longer possible. Die Linke and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen also lost votes. With 4.7%, the AfD only narrowly missed entry into parliament.

The second »Grand Coalition« (since 2013)

On October 23, 2013, the CDU / CSU and SPD began coalition negotiations, which were successfully concluded on November 27, 2013, despite internal opposition from the SPD. For the first time, the SPD made a coalition agreement dependent on the approval of party members (76% yes-votes). on the introduction of a nationwide statutory minimum wage of € 8.50 (in effect on January 1, 2015), on the possibility of dual citizenship, on the so-called maternal pension and on a pension with no deductions at the age of 63 for long-term insured persons. The Bundestag elected  A. Merkel for the third time as Chancellor on December 17, 2013.

The new government was shaken after a short time by a crisis of confidence. In February 2014 it became known that Federal Minister of Agriculture H.-P. In his former position as Minister of the Interior, Friedrich had already informed the SPD party chairman Gabriel in October 2013 that the name of the SPD member of the Bundestag Sebastian Edathy (* 1969) had appeared in the context of international investigations in connection with child pornographic material. On February 14, 2014, Friedrich announced his resignation on charges of possible betrayal of official secrets. A committee of inquiry began its work on July 2nd, 2014.

United Germany 4