the republic logo

Merkel's party gives her new term at its helm, showcases German leader's strength

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's party elected her resoundingly to a new two-year term as its leader on Tuesday, underlining her strength as she boasted about balancing Germany's budget for the first time in 46 years.

The conservative Christian Democratic Union said 96.7 percent of delegates at a convention voted for Merkel as chairwoman. She ran unopposed.

Merkel, 60, has led the CDU since 2000 and Germany since 2005. Some party members are already urging her to seek a fourth term in 2017. Merkel hasn't said whether she will and didn't on Tuesday, but she has no serious rivals and no single obvious successor.

Polls show the CDU's ratings around the level of its score at last year's national election, when Merkel's conservative bloc fell just a few seats short of a parliamentary majority — an unusual feat in Germany.

PHOTO: German Chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel, thanks the delegates for  standing ovations after her speech at the 27.  party convention in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
German Chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel, thanks the delegates for standing ovations after her speech at the 27. party convention in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Merkel highlighted the strength of the economy and said the most remarkable achievement was next year's budget, under which Germany plans to get by without new borrowing for the first time since 1969.

"The state has lived above its means for decades and we are putting an end to that now," Merkel said. "That is a historic achievement."

Some economists and other European countries would like to see Germany ramp up spending, but Merkel hasn't wavered in her insistence on budget discipline in Europe.

She insisted anew on Tuesday that Europe must keep to the budget deficit limits it has set itself.

"It is not German fussiness when we keep talking about the stability and growth pact and say that we have to keep to it," she said. "This has to do with confidence."

Merkel told supporters that "only our own strength" will ward off the possibility of three left-wing parties teaming up to form a government after Germany's next election. However, most observers think there's little chance of that happening.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: German Chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democrats, CDU, Angela Merkel, thanks the delegates for  standing ovations after her speech at the 27.  party convention in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Click to view (2 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.