Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, July 22, 2019 08:31:23 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

German coalition in disarray over von der Leyen's EU nomination

photo by AP photo

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated as European Commission President, attends a news conference during a visit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

By
05th-Jul-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Reuters, Berlin :
European leaders' nomination of Ursula von der Leyen to head the European Commission did not give the Social Democrats (SPD) reason to quit Germany's ruling coalition, a party leader said on Thursday.
The European Council's decision this week to nominate the German defense minister angered many in the SPD, who saw it as Chancellor Angela Merkel reneging on a commitment to back a winner of the European Parliament elections for the job.
Former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel said the decision, without cabinet approval, gave grounds to end the governing coalition in Berlin.
But Malu Dreyer, head of the Rhineland-Palatinate regional government and one of three acting SPD leaders, told ZDF public television: "I would not go that far, because I can't charge Mrs. Merkel with violating the coalition agreement.
"She abstained in the vote in the Council."
Merkel was the only one of the leaders not to vote for her close ally in Monday's European Council after an hour-long attempt to win over her coalition partners proved fruitless.
The SPD suffered its worst showing nationwide since democracy returned after World War Two in the European election on May 26. Many in the SPD want an end to their alliance with Merkel's conservative bloc.
Markus Soeder, conservative premier of Bavaria, said: "The SPD has made sure that Germany was the only country in the Council that couldn't vote for Germany.
"That's surely unique in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, and a real burden on the coalition."
Meanwhile,In the twilight of her career, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has chosen to soak up domestic heat from her coalition partners in order to secure a close ally at the top of the European Union who will outlast her.
Ursula von der Leyen, the current German defense minister who was tapped by EU leaders on Tuesday as a unity candidate to be European Commission chief, was not Merkel's first choice. But with an eye on her legacy, the conservative chancellor has a like-minded problem solver in place to take the helm of the EU.
Oddly, Merkel abstained in a leaders' vote on nominating von der Leyen - a mark of the waning power of Europe's once dominant leader who was prevented from backing her own ally due to opposition from her Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners.
As the EU top jobs package came together after tortuous talks, Merkel broke off the Brussels summit for almost an hour to try to persuade the SPD to allow her to vote in favor of von der Leyen, diplomats said. She was unable to do so.
Instead, she left the other EU leaders to endorse von der Leyen to be the first woman to hold the post that sets the EU's policy agenda, putting a close ally at the heart of the bloc - despite red-hot resistance from the SPD.
"To my mind, this was an acceptable risk that Merkel knew she was taking," said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director at consultancy Eurasia Group, adding that the risk of her ruling coalition collapsing this year remained constant at 55 percent.
Senior Social Democrats, who last year only reluctantly renewed their awkward left-right "grand coalition" with Merkel, were quick to reject the EU jobs package.
"Von der Leyen is our weakest minister," tweeted Martin Schulz, a former SPD leader.
Sigmar Gabriel, another former SPD leader, described von der Leyen's nomination as an "unprecedented act of political trickery" and suggested the party would have grounds to quit the coalition without cabinet approval for the nomination.
The SPD showed no immediate sign of quitting the coalition, and a government spokesman said there was no need for the cabinet to endorse the nomination, which is made by leaders of EU member countries.
The SPD suffered its worst showing nationwide since democracy returned after World War Two in a European election on May 26, prompting its leader to quit and throwing the party into a fresh round of soul searching.
Many in the SPD want an end to their loveless alliance with Merkel's conservative bloc, which could yet be precipitated by regional elections in three eastern states in the autumn. Polls show the left-leaning party is set to perform poorly.
Carsten Nickel, managing director at Teneo, a consultancy, said the SPD's awkward withholding of support for von der Leyen's historic nomination showed the party was in poor shape.
"That the Social Democrats forced Germany into this somewhat embarrassing abstention reveals the true extent of the SPD's frailty," he said.
Merkel, who came to power in 2005, has said she will not seek re-election. Instead, she is trying to stage-manage a slow motion exit from politics and has already given up the chair of her Christian Democrats to protege Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
The EU jobs deal takes the future proofing a stage further.
"Ultimately, Merkel has placed an ally and confidante into the EU's top position while also securing a pragmatist and a safe pair of hands at the ECB," said Rahman at Eurasia. "That's not a bad outcome for Merkel."
International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, with whom Merkel tackled the euro zone crisis, will take over at the European Central Bank.
Von der Leyen still needs to be confirmed in her new job by an absolute majority in the European Parliament.
On paper, she ought to be able to secure those votes comfortably, but may hit resistance in an assembly aggrieved that EU leaders ignored the lead candidates from the main parliamentary blocs - the "Spitzenkandidaten" - in their horse-trading over top posts.
Seeking to soothe those grievances, Merkel spent the first part of her post-summit news conference on Tuesday evening praising the Spitzenkandidaten, especially conservative Manfred Weber who she had initially supported.
"I don't think it helped the Spitzenkandidaten that from the outset one of those candidates - and that was Manfred Weber - was presented as unsuitable or unelectable," Merkel said. "That must not happen again."
Regardless of those overtures aimed at European lawmakers, Merkel may have trouble convincing Germans von der Leyen is a good pick for Commission president. An RTL/n-tv survey of 1,004 voters on Wednesday by pollster forsa found only 36% backed her.
Von der Leyen's patchy cabinet record may also prompt questions in the European Parliament. She has had a scandal-prone run as defense minister, mainly over right-wing extremism in the armed forces, gaps in military readiness, and the awarding of arms contracts.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Taking law in own hand is an ominous sign


MOBS beat to death five people, including two women, and injured 10 others on suspicion of being child kidnappers across the country on Saturday. The incidents happened just a day after three people were beaten by a mob in Thakurgaon. Incidents of mob beating have increased even after the Bridges ...

International »

Abe on course to retain majority in upper house election


AFP, Tokyo :Japanese voters cast ballots Sunday in an upper house election, with Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc looking to protect its majority and keep on track plans to amend the country's pacifist constitution.The 64-year-old Abe, who is on course to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister, is also hoping to shore ...

Entertainment »

Mehazabien, Tawsif, Sabila Nur’s Eid drama Better half


Entertainment Report :Few days ago, a drama titled Swapno Dekhi Abaro, directed by Mahmudur Rahman Himi, was made with theme given by popular TV actress Mehazabien Chowdhury. Mehazabien also acted in this play against Shamol Mawla which will be telecasted in upcoming Eid. This time Imraul Rafat has made an ...

Editorial »

Administrative control over ACC only to happy the corrupts


ANTI-GRAFT campaigner Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern and extreme disappointment over the government's decision for making Deputy Commissioners as authorised officers to oversee the Anti-Corruption Commission's work in the districts. The move will undoubtedly restrict the ACC's ability to fight graft and proper investigation into allegations of ...

Sports »

Penny drops for Canada's teen swim queen Oleksiak


Canada's Penny Oleksiak insists she has finally left the "weirdness" of capturing Olympic swimming gold at the tender age of 16 after finally recovering from a lengthy Rio hangover. Oleksiak, who is preparing for the world championships which begin in South Korea this weekend, stunned the sport when she dead-heated ...

International »

Thousands rally in support of Hong Kong police


AP, Hong Kong :Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Hong Kong's police and pro-Beijing leadership on Saturday, a vivid illustration of the polarisation coursing through the city after weeks of anti-government demonstrations.Hong Kong has been rocked by more than a month of huge and largely peaceful protests-as ...

International »

US offers $7m to find Hezbollah agent as Pompeo visits Argentina


AFP, Buenos Aires :The United States on Friday offered a $7 million reward to find a Hezbollah operative accused of masterminding a deadly 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to unite Latin American nations against the militants.Pompeo visited to mark ...

Entertainment »

Shilpa Shetty to return to the big screen after twelve years


Shilpa Shetty is all set to make a comeback on the big screen after a gap of twelve years. The actress was last seen in Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol starrer Apne (2007). Before jetting off on a holiday with family, Shilpa has green lit filmmaker Aziz Mirza's son Haroon ...

Editorial »

Corruption in WASA crosses all limits


THE Anti Corruption Commission has identified eight projects and three areas in Dhaka WASA where corruption takes place. The State enterprise keeps extending deadlines and increasing the costs of its projects to create room for corruption. In many cases, WASA did not carry out its work as per project designs ...

International »

UN reaches agreement with Yemen rebels to resume food deliveries


AFP, United Nations :The World Food Program has reached an agreement in principle with Yemen's Huthi rebels to resume food aid to areas they control, the agency's chief said on Thursday.Malnutrition is widespread in Yemen after four years of civil war, but the UN suspended deliveries of food aid to ...

Entertainment »

Shabnam Parvin’s Hurmoti film to be released after Eid


Entertainment Report :Viewers’ choice popular actress Shabnam Parvin has made a movie titled Hurmoti which is based on her own written story. Shabnam Parvin herself played the title role in the movie. Al Monjur wrote dialogue while script was also written by Shabnam Parvin herself. Shabnam Parvin informed that against ...

Editorial »

China funded projects: Delay would create problems


A JOINT working group has been formed to probe the slow progress of the 27 projects involving around $20 billion that China had agreed to provide during President Xi Jinping's Dhaka visit in October 2016. China has so far disbursed only $981.36 million -- less than 5 percent of the ...

Football »

Infantino reacts to Blatter criticism over Africa cleanup


AP, Cairo :FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit back at Sepp Blatter's criticism of the world soccer body's cleanup operation in Africa as a modern-day form of "colonialism."Infantino response on Thursday was: "I have to laugh about it."Blatter, the former head of FIFA who is serving a six-year ban from soccer, ...

City »

A vital portion of highway in Uttara near Armed Police Office is in dilapidated condition where big potholes and cracks following incessant rains for the last few days and works relating to metro-rail project, other development works. This photo was taken on Thursday.


International »

US against any country purchasing Russia's S-400 defence system: Pentagon


PTI, Washington :The US is keen to make its defence partnership with India stronger, the Pentagon has said, but made it clear that it is against any country purchasing military equipment, including the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, that is designed to counter America's sophisticated fifth-generation aircraft.The remarks by ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news