11.10.05

Merkel triumphant - but at a price


As she announced the deal that will make her chancellor, Angela Merkel looked relieved and happy, but there was little sense of triumph. Her reaction was oddly subdued, considering that Mrs Merkel is breaking the mould of German politics. Not only will she be the country's first woman chancellor, she will also be the first leader to have grown up in communist East Germany. But Mrs Merkel had to be pushed by journalists to admit that she was pleased at the agreement with the Social Democrats. "I'm in a good mood," she said, "but I know that there is a lot of work ahead."

Negotiations on the details of future government policy are likely to drag on till mid-November - before the hard business of the grand compromise coalition can begin. Mrs Merkel may have won the battle for the chancellorship, but it came at a price. The Social Democrats have taken eight of the 14 ministries, including the key posts of finance, labour and foreign affairs. There are also signs that Mrs Merkel has agreed to water down her reform policies to boost the flagging German economy - such as cuts in payroll costs. That is not likely to go down well with reform-minded CDU MPs. (BBC News)

Another historic milestone in the continual gender revolution. I see that Mrs. Merkel is not Mrs. Thatcher, the latter Iron Lady is tough and uncompromise while the former is seen as sensible, perhaps the right figure to guide the country. However, with a coalition goverment, there is bound to be compromises in a big way, the agenda will be mixed and debate to get things done might be prolong or worst, the coalition could collapse. Time will tell if Merkel could create a harmonious working relationship and get what she wants. Kudos to Merkel. I wonder if Malaysia will ever have the first woman PM?

Alle beste und viel Gl├╝ck Frau Merkel!