Germany votes: another four years of Merkel – but which Merkel?

Chancellor Angela Merkel waves to supporters at a CDU rally
Angela Merkel’s next term as chancellor is likely to be her last. Her legacy will be political flexibility and solidifying her country’s position on the geopolitical stage (source: dpa)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to win another term in September
  • Her policies thereafter will depend in large part on her coalition partners
  • She will leave a legacy of shunning ideology to solidify Germany’s position

After 12 years as German chancellor, Angela Merkel will almost certainly be reelected to another term in September, when Germans vote in federal elections. As the leader of the most economically and politically stable of Europe’s large countries, it is hard to challenge her. It helps that she has a talent for changing her mind according to public opinion and political opportunity with disarming nonchalance. With only a slight chance for a hard-left, three-party coalition that could defeat Ms. Merkel, this report focuses on on her likely coalition options and how they might affect her foreign policy challenges.

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