The economic elite in Germany worries about the consequences of the continuing weakness of the CDU and SPD. This is the conclusion reached by the so-called Elite Panel of the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy, which is commissioned by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) and by Capital . According to this, 72 percent of the respondents believe that the problems of the two parties pose a risk to the state's ability to act. For the study, 484 executives were surveyed from mid-October to early November; two thirds from the economy, one fifth from politics, ten percent from the administration.
According to the survey, 64 percent of respondents are disappointed with the work of the grand coalition. Nevertheless, a large majority (73 percent) believe that the Union-SPD alliance will continue until the end of the 2021 legislature. In case of failure, the majority of respondents (70 percent) plead for new elections, 27 percent would prefer a minority government of CDU / CSU.
Clear ideas have the interviewees to which leading candidates the parties should lead in the next federal election. The most promising chancellor candidate of the Union is Friedrich Merz for 38 percent and Armin Laschet for another 29 percent. Only twelve percent voted for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. For the SPD there is only one possible leading candidate for 59 percent and that is Olaf Scholz. The selection process of the SPD for the party presidency, however, the majority of the executives skeptical majority: 65 percent think that has weakened the SPD.
Trade dispute dominates foreign policy concerns
The respondents are very worried about the foreign policy problems. First and foremost political risks are the trade dispute between the USA and China. Eighty percent of respondents believe that in the future, European companies may be forced to choose between one of the markets.
If that happens, half of the executives would favor the United States, reports the FAZ . On the other hand, one third would bet on China, the rest is undecided. Concrete consequences in the form of higher tariffs feel, according to the study, but hardly so far. Only 15 percent of participating business executives see their own company as heavily or severely affected.
Donald Trump is rated increasingly poor among the elites, according to the survey. After all, about 60 percent of the respondents said about a year ago that the US president was using his country's economic power, now there are just as many who believe the opposite. Nevertheless, a re-election considers a large majority possible.
External influence on the trade conflict is hardly seen as an option among respondents. Hardly anyone believes that the EU can effectively mediate. Above all, executives in politics want more attention to the topic of digitization. Strengthening competitiveness and a better education system are also considered very important by many respondents. State intervention to strengthen the economy is currently rejected by 56 percent of the respondents.
Approval for von der Leyen and Lagarde
The new appointments at the top of the EU Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are considered positive. Ursula von der Leyen considers 76 percent of the interviewees to be a good head of commission, and the same is true of 63 percent of Christina Lagarde at the helm of the ECB.
The Elite Panel has been created for around 25 years. This time around, among other things, 79 boards of companies with more than 20,000 employees, 20 ministers and prime ministers as well as 32 heads of federal and state authorities were interviewed.