EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Electoral Blow To Merkel Over Nuclear Stance …

  • March 28th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

merkel-resize.jpgExit polling in Germany is showing a defeat for the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and their allies in the state of Baden-Württemberg,   the Green Party likely to win government there on the back of a strong anti-nuclear campaign.

FALL-OUT FROM FUKUSHIMA

The chief problem for the CDU headed by federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has been fallout from the nuclear emergency in Japan, where reports of new, highly dangerous contamination of water, (later corrected and modified), came out on the weekend.

Ms Merkel had moved to extend the life of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants, upsetting a plan to phase them out, put in place by the previous “Red-Green” coalition government.

After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan which fractured the Fukushima nuclear installations, she announced two weeks ago that seven older plants in Germany would be taken out of the grid, while an extensive safety check was made on the whole system.

See EUAustralia Online, “Impacts of the Fukushima crisis”, 16.3.11.

WEEKEND PROTESTS IN GERMAN

The change of policy did not mollify the feelings of a large majority of Germans concerned about nuclear safety; definitely not anti-nuclear activists, some 200000 taking part in demonstrations over the weekend for a return to Plan A, closure of the system.

The state of Baden-Württemberg is in conservative territory in Germany’s South-west, where the right-of-centre parties have never been out of power until now.

The Greens would become the main partners in a coalition with social democrats, their first time heading a government in Germany.

The CDU’s reduced vote, down to some 40%, has signalled electoral danger for the ruling party across the country; and Ms Merkel must now be under pressure to tell the nuclear industry lobby that because of a public decision she can’t do anything more for them.

PROTESTS IN LONDON

ritz-hotel2.jpegProtests also in London: An estimated 250000 turned out to demonstrate against a British government budget forcing across-the-board cuts in public sector services and jobs.

ritz-interior.jpegOpposition and trade union leaders told the crowds that the budget program would transfer wealth, because the chief impacts would be felt by poorer citizens.

Some of the demonstrators broke off to charge at symbolic targets such as the Ritz Hotel (pictures), leading to violent confrontations with police.

Reference

Marcus Walker,  “Greens’ Gains Are Setback for Germany’s Merkel”, Wall Street Journal, NY, 27.3.11. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704308904576226733427948462.html, (28.3.11).

Voice of Russia, Moscow, “Angela Merkel loses key ground in Germany”,  28.3.11. http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/03/28/48056929.html, (28.3.11)

Pictures  biztravells.net, sixthform.info

Leave a Reply