Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Time in Nearly 60 Years: Merkel Party Loses Power in Germany's Heartland

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats party has lost power in  Baden-Wuerttemberg in elections held there. The CDU was in power since 1953.

It appears that the CDU was hit as a result of problems that developed outside Germany, but have an impact in the country, the nuclear disaster in Japan and the PIIGS crisis . Nuclear power is unpopular in Germany and the disaster in Japan put nuclear power in the forefront of voters' minds. According to poll results, voters saw Merkel's recent move to shutdown certain nuclear plants as a political ploy.

And, of course, voters were unhappy with Merkel's agreeing at an EU summit Thursday to commit to a giant new eurozone rescue fund.

The anti-nuclear Greens claimed about 24 percent of the vote -- about 12 point higher than five years ago -- and were likely to form a coalition with the Social Democrats, who grabbed about 23 percent of the vote.