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My beer is gone..........damn

Let's see how many SPD candidates will now have their Joschka Fischer moment and drop out before the SPD convention next week will have to approve this deal.

It will also be interesting to see whether Willy Brandt's tradition of a personal union of the posts of the Vice Chancellor and the Foreign Minister will be kept up, or whether the SPD will present two seperate candidates.

bottom line:we win, they lose.

/replace "SPD convention next week" "SPD convention next month"

All I can say is one down (Germany/Merkel) and one more to go (France/and perhaps Nicolas Sarkozy?). One can only keep their fingers crossed.

i'm dissapointed with cdu/merkel
they shouldn't, in my opinion, get into this
i can respect, though, the liberals
the people don't want reforms, and they don't want that cdu govern, either
even if merkel proclaims herself as winner

i'm quite curious what kind of government is it gonna be, with the aussenminister/finanzminister from spd

It seems like this is the best thing to happen to the SPD in a while, they'll retain quite a bit of power and Merkel can be the target when things don't improve much if at all in Germany.

@neocon: The alternative would be a Left Coalition, and I suppose in that case Germany would use its vote in the IAEA in the same way that Venezuela does. Wrong way.

Angela Merkel had to get into this after the Greens closed the door to a Jamaica coalition, because the only thing that can reopen this door is when a Grand Coalition is rejected by the SPD. The Greens have said that there were still too many differences to build a stable coalition, so it is necessary to demonstrate to them that all these differences - from welfare reform to nuclear energy - anyways do exist with the SPD.

Without much noise Angela Merkel has undone the merger of the labor and the economics portfolio under the single post of a "Superminister" that Red-Green introduced with its second term. And while the negotiations go on over the next six weeks up to the SPD party convention, the three smaller parties will comment on the details, and the Left Party will use any opportunity to stab the SPD in the back when it shifts its positions. And the second most important outgoing cabinet member of the SPD, Otto Schily, is just entangling himself in the checkmate of the Cicero scandal.

What the hell is the Cicero scandal?

@Pamela: Leaked intelligence about the Iran-Zarqawi link, see Financial Times and my own comment.

So Schroeder's out, but anti-American foreign policy remains in.

Not a great deal.

I wonder if they shared this info with the US or not. It brings up another issue. I have always wondered if Germany and France had strong evidence implicating Saddam and Iraq with regards to providing support to al Qaeda which the US did not have, would share it or not. Sadly, I think they wouldn't, to protect their financial and geopolitical interests.

I understand the SPD will control the foreign affairs portfolio. Did Merkel really have to make this concession? Any rumors yet on whom the SPD will nominate? And does this mean we in the USA can look forward to another four years of "I am not convinced" and Bush=Hitler? Please tell me Merkel and the CDU will have some influence over foreign policy.

In the United States institutional gridlock generally means that the problems that normally have a political solution often get dealt with at the popular level because there is an element of local control uanswerable to the state or federal levels. Now the political classes view this as unnatural and inefficient but areas that don't get fixed expand rapidly, ie. the world wide web, and unfortunately the savings and loan crisis of the late 80's. Can we hope that this might happen in Germany?

@Pat Patterson: Excellent point. People do not understand that less regulation/government intervention means faster and more robust economist growth. Of course there are exceptions, but over time the market will correct itself when necessary. The failure of any country to see this (especially Old Europe) and other problems (i.e. death rate overshadowing birth rate) will lead to an implosion, the likes of which will be catastrophic.

@Matt: Here's a short list of the current rumors.

Here's another one (Flash animation).

What I find truly interesting in this is how the various ministries will be lead by more hack political no matter what their party affiliation happens to be. It would appear in Germany only those who already are part of the political process are the only ones qualified to hold leadership positions.

Most people think that Otto Schily will be foreign minister.
He is more or less the only "normal" SPD-politician.
But noone is a snake in the grass like Schroeder.
To see him out and Merkel as Chancellor is unbelievable.
I gave her NO chance after the botched election.
I thought all the traitors in her own party would stab her in the back.
But Schroeder's arrogance has kept the CDU/CSU together.

@G.Will - Do you think Otto Schily's appearances to the Cicero investigation commission will be televised, such as these of Joschka Fischer to the Visa investigation commission?

If there is a commission about it probably.
I'm not in the loop as this affair doesn't make nearly as much waves here as
the Ukrania scandal with Fischer.
I will try to keep an eye on this.
But as of now I don't think Schily is damaged goods.

@G.Will: The Innenausschuss session tomorrow is behind closed doors. For a public investigation commission, Greens and FDP need another 40 votes, either from the Union or from the Left Party.

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