Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Although the German constitutional court may -if it’s in an admittedly very funny mood- declare the plan for early elections next month (rather than next year) unconstitutional I would say that all other factors here in Berlin are on go. By chance I am in the German capital throughout the entire election campaign period and as there is a chance of some real change I will obey my blog’s tagline and explain why and how developments here are relevant to British-German relations. To make it clear, I blog from a perspective of what is important to the UK, but that does not mean it will be limited to what German politicians say about relations to the UK -which will be fairly little I would wager. I will instead look at the different approaches to foreign affairs, particularly on Atlantic and EU issues where we can or cannot find common ground to advance our mutual interests. Where necessary I will also refer to domestic politics and Germany’s identity debate, because obviously these impact on the way the country pursues its foreign policy.
The last election in 2002 was (in)famous for the red-green government’s exploitation of the Iraq crisis to reel in the "peace vote". This time round it seems unlikely that foreign policy will feature even vaguely as prominently, but instead the election will mostly be about economic reform issues. That’s probably too bad for the current government, because it means they will be out of office within the month. As the joke here has it, the only way Schroder can win is, if Bush decides to invade Iran. Hmmm . . . .
Anyways, it certainly promises to be interesting.
Update aug10 0845hrs: links repaired