Japan’s Disasters Shake German Politics

By March 28, 2011Energy

The anti-nuclear-energy Greens get their first state governor by dint of a second-place finish in Sunday’s elections in Baden-Württemberg, widely perceived as rebuke to the federal CDU-FDP alliance led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Businesses in the southwestern German state are
Der Spiegel, “Election Debacle ‘Will Shake CDU, But Won’t Topple Merkel’“:

The defeat of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party in Baden-Württemberg, a CDU bastion for 58 years, in an election on Sunday is a major blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel, the party’s leader, but she will survive it, say German media commentators.

Triumph of the Greens, Disaster for the Black-Gold

The victory of the Greens in the rich southwestern state shows that many mainstream voters have no faith in Merkel’s sudden U-turn on nuclear policy following the Fukoshima disaster, and reflects the German public’s aversion to atomic energy, editorial writers said.

For the CDU, losing Baden-Württemberg is as bad as the loss of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia was for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) of then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in May 2005.

Baden-Württemberg’s capital, Stuttgart, is home to many large manufacturers, especially in the aumotive sector. Business sent strong words of caution to the Greens this morning. From DPA:

Stuttgart – Business leaders on Monday warned the Green Party, which is expected to take power in Germany’s key industrial state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, to prevent steep rises in energy costs.

The state is home to some of Germany’s biggest industrial corporations, including Daimler and Robert Bosch. It has been ruled for 58 years running by the business-friendly Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

‘We expect the policies of the new government to provide stable, reliable framework conditions to preserve the good business climate,’ said Bosch chief executive Franz Fehrenbach in a first reaction.

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