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Aurel Braun talks about the German elections

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Published on Sep 22, 2017

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Aurel Braun about the German elections and why Angela Merkel is tipped to win her fourth term.

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Detected Closed Captioning: Now From We’re On Germany’s Elections And The Country’s Economy I’m Joined By our Elberon Live From Toronto He’s A Professor Of International Relations And political Science At The University Of Toronto He’s Also An Associate At Harvard University’s Davis Center welcome To The Show Thank You So The People Who Are Still Getting Familiar what Are The Key Economic Issues At Play with This Election In Germany Germany Seems To Be An Island Of Stability Its Economy Is Continuing To Grow unemployment Rates Are Very Low And Angela Merkel Is Viewed As Someone Very Competent Highly Dependable She Has Had Three Terms And So She’s Moved Towards Her Four Term So The Aura Of Competence Of Reassurance Is A Very Important One especially Given That This Break Said Given That There’s So Much International tension The Problem Is That Beneath The Surface There Are Certain Issues There are Problems Regarding Immigration There Are Problems In Long-term Relations With United States With Russia And This Is Why We See That At The Same Time That We look At All This Kind Of Reassurance There Has Been A Rise Of Extremist Movements Particularly The Alternative For Germany Which Now Might Conceivably Come In As The Third Largest Party And As You Mentioned There Even Though Chancellor Merkel Is Expected To Win Her Fourth Term Very Handily It Is Going To Be One Of The Most Fractured Parliament’s With About Perhaps Six Parties Expected To Win Some Seats Including The Far-right Party What Should We Read Into That Well What It tells Us Is That Angela Merkel represents Stability She Represents Predictability But The World Is Volatile and Even Though Domestic Politics Are Volatile So Jeremy Took A Very Generous A Very Important Step In Bringing something Like A Million Refugees But they Have To Be Integrated And They Have Not Been Integrated That Successfully In The Past You Look At Some Like Three Million Turks Who Came Many Many Years ago cos Our Visor And They’re Not Viewed As German By Many Of The Native Population and So That Creates Tensions There Are Issues Regarding The EU With Bracketed The British Are Dissatisfied It’s A New Leader In France Emmanuel Macron Was Very Ambitious Who Wants To Co-lead Together With Angela Merkel But Lacks That Experience There’s The Problem With Russia That Russia Continues To Threaten Members Of Eastern Europe And NATO Has To Respond To That Angela Merkel Has Been Very Solid When It Came To Sanctions Against Russia But She Seems to Have An Aversion To Any Kind Of military Steps Even Giving Defensive Armaments To Ukraine So These Are Issues That Keep Percolating Underneath The Surface So Then How Importantly Economically Are These Issues Especially Beyond Germany’s Borders When You Look At The Broader Europe And Some Of Its Trade Partners How Are They Viewing This It’s An Important Question Because Germany Is profoundly Important Because Of Its Weight It Is The Largest Economy It Is the Most Stable Economy It Is A Kind Of Exemplary Economy A Model For The Others but Not Everyone Wants Or Is Able To emulate That Economy So Whatever Happens In Germany Reverberates Around The Around The EU So If This Turmoil In Germany If There’s Political Instability In Germany If The German Economy Begins To Falter That Would Have A Profound impact On All The Smaller Economies And This Is Why At One Level The Rest Of Europeans Want The Germans To Succeed At Another Level They Are Also Weary For Being Dominated By Germany Now Germany’s Strong Economy Is Cited As One Of The Reasons The Auto Industry Scandal And Also The Influx Of Refugees Didn’t Ruin Merkel’s Election Hopes So What Is Driving The Country’s Growth Well In The 1990s Jeremy Took Some Very Important Steps That The Other continental European Countries Like France Luckily Did Not Take And That Is That They Brought About Labor Reform they Brought About Labor Flexibility This allowed For More Investments To Come In It Reassured The Business Community He Created A Cooperative Kind Of Atmosphere the Germans Have Been Also Very Creative at Moving Into The High-end Products The Reputation Of German Industry Is Excellent The Dependability In Delivering Things So If You Look At The Car Industry For Example In Many Parts Of Europe The Car Industry Is In Great Difficulties Whether It Is France Or Italy You Look At Fiat The German Car Makers Are Thriving Now As We Look At Some Of The Challenges That Could perhaps Make Germany’s Economy More Vulnerable If Not Really Tackled What Would You Say The Standouts Are Well It Is Not A Case That We Can Look Simply At Economics It Is Kind Of Intertwining Of Political Issues And Economic Issues Of Domestic Concerns And International Concerns Germany Is An Importer Of Energy A Great Deal Of That Energy Comes From Russia Relation Russia Are Not Particularly Good If Russia Acts Let’s Say Assertively Or Aggressively In The Baltic States That Will Create An enormous Energy Disruption So That Can Have A A Kind Of Impact We Don’t Know What The Ultimate Impact Of Breakfast Is Going To Be So There Are So Many Of These Variables That At The Moment Seem to Be Stable Or At Least Quiescent But There Can Be This Kind Of Mixture In Reverberation That Creates Instability And I Think This Is One Of The Reasons Why The Germans Want Angela Merkel Back a Few Months Ago It Appeared That The Opposition Party Led By Martin Schulz Had A Good Chance Of Winning not So They’re Way Behind Now Because She Represents That Reassurance And All I’m Suggesting Is That That Reassurance is Important But We Should At The Same Time Be Somewhat Cautious Indeed Thank You So Much Aurel Braun Professor Of International Relations And Political Science At The University Of Toronto And Associate At The Davis Center At Harvard University

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