Monday, June 21, 2021
Merkel sees a change of epochs
“Democracy has a harder time than autocracy”
In view of the upcoming presentation of the CDU and CSU election manifestos, the Chancellor warns of the great challenges that Germany will face in the next few years. China and other autocracies led the way, as did the US. Innovation and digitization are key.
Chancellor Angela Merkel sees Germany facing profound upheavals in view of the consequences of the corona pandemic. With a view to the election program of the Union, she told ntv: “It is important that we speak of a change of epoch, in the first chapter of the program. We are in a change of epoch.” It is particularly driven by innovation and digitization. Almost 100 days before the federal election, the leaders of the CDU and CSU are currently deciding on their joint program. Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet and CSU boss Markus Söder want to present the joint program to the public in the early afternoon.
However, the dynamic has already been enormous in the past few years. Since 2007 there has been one challenge after another, according to the outgoing Chancellor, who has been head of government since 2005. The great economic dynamism in Asia and the rise of China have long changed the international power structure. “We are experiencing disregard for international law and rule-breaking by major states in the international system, and we are seeing populist trends spreading around the world, including in democratic states.”
With the pandemic, the cards in the world would also be reshuffled. The open democracies would have had a harder time than the autocratic systems. “We have more catching up to do,” Merkel told the German press agency. For example, the Chinese gross domestic product has increased more than sixfold in the past few years, while the German GDP has not even grown by one and a half times in the same period.
China, for example, is very successful, although it rules autocratically. Europe, on the other hand, is not leading in many areas: not in quantum computing, chips or battery research, according to Merkel’s sobering assessment. You have to work there. However, the focus is not only on the east, but also on the USA. “We can see the force with which the USA are now tackling it – also economically,” said Merkel.