This past Sunday two elections, one in France, the other in the small German stateof Schleswig-Holstein, had a direct effect on the national German political scene.By this time you have already read or heard that France will have a new Socialistpresident, Francois Hollande. President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel donot come out of the same orientation. Merkel is a genuine conservative who hasstressed austerity in order for nations in Europe to save themselves from crushingdebt and the financial disasters that the worldwide recession has brought about.On the other hand, according to
AP, "Hollande inherits an economy that's a driver of the European Union but is deep in debt. He wants more government stimulus, and more government spending in general, despite concerns in the markets that Franceneeds to urgently trim its huge debt.
The two leaders will have to learn to get along with each other in order to prevent aneven worse financial disaster. We'll have to wait and see how it goes.The Schleswig-Holstein election is more complicated. From what I can see each of the two largest political parties won a little and lost a little. It appears that the CDU,the Chancellor's party came out with the largest vote and, indeed, their naturalpartner the business oriented FDP got enough of a vote to stay in the stateparliament. However, they did not get enough to continue the coalition they formedto rule since the last election so that coalition has ended. Kaput!The SPD, the other large party (socialist) came in second to the CDU but the finalresult was very close. They have more of a possibility of forming a coalition with theGreens who did well but not well enough to nail down enough parliament seats tomake a two party coalition. They might be able to entice a small local party, theSouth Schleswig Party to join them and that would be enough for a majority. If thatdoesn't work there is the possibility of a "Grand Coalition" between the CDU and theSPD. However, at the moment there needs to be a lot of horse trading on jobs andpolicy so we'll have to wait to see how it all shakes out.Interestingly, the Pirate Party, about whom I have written much, got enough votes tobe in the parliament. However, I have not read that any of the large parties wantthem in a coalition. Maybe they are where I am in trying to understand the Pirates --a state of confusion -- and do not want to chance getting too close to them.However, this is the third state parliament in which they have won seats and, as theysay on Broadway, "That ain't chopped liver!". After all is said and done, the result was not a good one for the CDU and theChancellor. She loses more power in the upper house of the parliament, theBundesrat which is made up of representatives from the states. However, we're still16 or 17 months away from the national election so much can happen before then.
As far as Greece is concerned, the situation is so muddled and confused it’s hard tofigure out the implications for Germany, Israel or the Jews other than the fact that a3