Pressure is mounting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a new poll suggests that almost half of Germans want her to leave the office. According a YouGov poll released on Wednesday, 47 percent of Germans oppose a fourth term for Merkel. Only 36 percent want her to finish the term.
With 33 percent of the vote, Merkel’s conservative bloc had emerged as the largest party in the September general elections, setting her up for a fourth term as the country’s Chancellor.
Last month, she suffered a major setback when her traditional partner the pro-business FDP unexpectedly pulled out of the coalition talks. The left-wing Social Democratic Party (SPD) is now Merkel’s last hope to build the next government. If the talks with the left-wing party fail, Germany will head to new polls in couple of months.
“The beginning of the end for German Chancellor Angela Merkel?”, asked the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle:
A majority of Germans seem to have come round to the idea that Angela Merkel's time is drawing to a close. A new YouGov poll released on Wednesday found that 47 percent of Germans would prefer the chancellor not to complete a fourth term in office, while only 36 percent said they would like to see her go another round.
Though it depends of course on whether she does manage to form a government this time round. It may take a while: Preliminary talks on forming a new grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are due to begin on January 7, with actual negotiations not expected before the end of the month, which would mean a new government might not form until Easter.
The YouGov poll coincides with waning support for Merkel’s conservative CDU. Opinion polls conducted last week show growing support for the right-wing AfD. Since the Bundestag election, the support for the AfD has grown from 12.6 to 14 percent. On the other hand, Merkel’s CDU shrank to 31 percent, the party’s worst performance in almost seventy years.
After wreaking havoc on her country in the wake of the self-inflicted Migrant Crisis, Merkel’s appetite for power shows no sign of waning. Despite eroding public support, she can still cut a deal with the Social Democrats or build an unstable minority government backed by smaller left-wing parties.
Meanwhile, the poverty in the country is touching a record high. A recent report published by Germany’s Federal Statistical Office claims that 16 million Germans are now living in poverty — approximately 20 percent of the population. The poverty figures were “higher than ever since the unification,” German media reported.
According to German weekly Der Spiegel, the German Government spent €20 billion on the ‘refugees’ on 2016 alone. This is perhaps the biggest redistribution in post-war Germany: from German pensioners and working class to immigrants, mostly young men from Arab and Muslim countries.