Germany: Angela Merkel, end of reign under the seal of criticism

It is a rehearsal of more than 18 years which ends Friday, December 7. Angela Merkel will leave the presidency of the Christian-Democratic party. The chancellor was fired. the consequence of deceiving ...

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Angela Merkel about to turn the page CDU. REUTERS / Fabrizio

It is a reign of more than 18 years which ends Friday, December 7. Angela Merkel will leave the presidency of the Christian Democratic party. The Chancellor has drawn the consequences of electoral defeats of his party in the fall and also wants to prepare the passage of relay to the Chancellery. She announced that she would not stand again at the end of the current legislature. These 18 years at the head of the CDU led to a modernization of the Christian Democratic Party but also to a rise of criticism against its president.

From our correspondent in Berlin, Pascal Thibaut

A young German born in the spring of 2000 during the election of Angela Merkel at the head of the CDU has just been allowed to vote. He has known only one president of the Christian Democratic Party since birth and the same Chancellor for 13 years.

When Angela Merkel is elected president of the party, she is a UFO. A woman from the former GDR, Protestant, childless, and who lived for a time in concubinage, access to the leadership of a CDU still marked by the traditional values ​​and Catholics of Rhenish Germany. For many, this 45-year-old woman is a transitional solution for a party long dominated by Chancellor Kohl who lost power two years earlier before a black-box affair shook the CDU.

Economically pragmatic

If Angela Merkel renounces a candidacy for the chancery in 2002, she settles there in 2005, beating, despite a poor score, the Social Democrats Gerhard Schröder with a short head.

Under the reign of Angela Merkel, the CDU has profoundly modernized . Despite the adoption of a liberal program at the beginning, it is a very pragmatic economic chancellor who has ruled overboard some principles rooted in the texts and genes of the CDU: the SMIC, nurseries for children, favoring women's work, military service or nuclear energy.

These changes allowed the party to open up to other layers and allow new alliances including with the Greens. But they also offended the most conservative and liberal wing of the party. And the reception of many refugees from 2015 has increased the sling within the party against Angela Merkel.