So Angela Merkel won an election by taking 8.6% less of the vote and 65 fewer seats than she did four years ago this week. The issues were not letting southern Europeans get away with any more of their bullshit, and keeping foreigners out of the country. Those 2013 Merkel voters prioritizing the latter went almost entirely for the first far-right party to win seats in the German parliament since the Nazis. For the former, the ones who kept her in power, Merkel has Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to thank, for all of his public shaming of the Greek and Italian sorts constantly stealing from the German taxpayer. And now he has his reward.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party said Wednesday it will nominate him as president of the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, a role that is the equivalent of parliamentary speaker in other countries….
Mr. Schäuble was known to want to stay on as finance minister, partly to influence the overhaul of the eurozone that Mr. Macron is urging, according to people familiar with his thinking.
Thanks for saving me from myself, Wolfie, but now I have to give your job to a minor party that’s going to keep me in power. Bright sides: Plenty of time to play Sudoku while backbenchers drone on, and the new guy’s gonna be an even bigger hard-ass vis-à-vis Greece than you.
The FDP has been critical of European Union authorities’ recent tolerance of budget deficits in other euro members. Before the elections Mr. Lindner said Greece’s debts need restructuring, which would be possible only if the country left the euro, reopening a debate in Germany about “Grexit.”
Sounds like a barrel of laughs. Still, we shall miss Herr Schäuble and his grim, flinty matter-of-factness, his weary calls for the market to “have a more realistic view of the situation,” the upgrade in his assessment of Greece from “bottomless pit” to “not a hopeless case,” his iron belief that “one must recognize what is necessary”—and that is for Greece to do what he says—and statements like “We simply have too much debt” and “The ultraloose monetary policy in place in many regions is not helpful.” Goodspeed, Wolfgang, in your new role of teaching parliamentary niceties to bomb-throwing neo-fascists as you one explained the necessity of paying one’s bills to PIGS.
Christian Democrat lawmakers have urged Mr. Schäuble to accept the role of Bundestag speaker in order to uphold parliamentary order, which mainstream parties fear could be threatened by the entry into the Bundestag of the populist Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, which won 12.6% of Sunday’s vote. The AfD has denied other parties’ accusations of rowdy behavior and racist rhetoric.