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Germany

Yearbook 1996

1996 GermanyGermany. Following a storm of domestic political law in 1995, many in Germany looked forward to a quieter 1996, primarily so that all resources could be concentrated on reversing the negative economic development and on the fight against the continued rising unemployment. However, the hopes were only partially fulfilled. It became calmer in domestic politics, mainly because the Social Democratic opposition, despite a more powerful leadership under Oscar Lafontaine, failed to seriously challenge Chancellor Helmut Kohl's CDU/CSU-FDP government. In the state elections in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein, both CDU and FDP went ahead. The Greens also made a good choice. The SPD, on the other hand, declined sharply. The election results showed that the SPD:

In 1996, the German economy recovered somewhat. However, developments over the next few years appear uncertain. The government repeatedly stressed that Germany is working to implement the monetary union EMU. At the same time, it was noted that the problems of the German economy were so great that the so-called convergence requirements regarding budget deficits (max. 3%) and government debt (max. 60%) would probably not be met. The necessary cuts in public spending - lowered sickness benefit, increased retirement age, deterioration in labor law, etc. - were met by massive protests. At the same time, unemployment rose to record levels. In the autumn it reached over 10%, and the increase showed no signs of slowing down.

According to Countryaah.com, another threat to the job is that German companies are increasingly manufacturing in the new low-wage countries in Eastern Europe. The situation in the labor market has pushed the trade unions to reduce their wage requirements, but against deterioration in labor law and social security, the resistance is compact. The risk of strikes and social unrest increased sharply in 1996.

Foreign policy is becoming increasingly self-conscious in Germany. Economic strength is now increasingly combined with political ambitions. In addition to the EU, this was noticed in 1996 in both economic and political relations with the United States, the Russian Federation, Japan and China. It is hoped that this process of growth with regard to international influence will be crowned with a permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

1996 Germany

The Revolution of 1848

In the 18th century, the Prussian kingdom emerged as a dynamic economic and political entity. This created rising tensions between the German states. Napoleon's victory over Prussia in 1806 and the formation of the Rhine Confederation was the death blow to the multi-polished political system of the Holy Roman German Empire. In 18th century Central Europe, culture was a haven for the intellectual energy that could not be thrown into politics dominated by the autocracy of the princes. This was the backdrop of the idealism and spiritualism that characterized German art and culture, which included appeared in philosophers such as Kant and Hegel and in writers such as Goethe and Schiller.

With Napoleon's fall in 1815, the German princes formed a confederation of 39 independent states. The resistance of the Austrian and Prussian monarchies to the establishment of broader forms of representation led to increased popular misery and contributed to the rebellions of the 1830s, all of which were brutally fought. In 1834, Prussia gave its increasing economic significance a political form with the establishment of the German Customs Union, from which Austria was excluded. The consequence of the establishment was that trade between its members doubled over a 10-year period and that certain industrial centers were formed, where the working class entered the scene. Due. the rapid growth of the urban population far exceeded the supply of labor. The resulting deterioration in the living conditions of the manufacturing workers and craftsmen formed a brilliant breeding ground for the revolt of the following years, the culmination of which was the wave of revolution in 1848-49.

For the first time elections were held for the National Assembly, which got its seat in Frankfurt. Liberal and Democratic candidates were predominantly elected to this assembly. They demanded German unity and, in parallel, a guarantee of political freedoms. Yet the internal contradictions of the assembly allowed the forces of the old regime to rally again, culminating in the dissolution of parliament in June 1849 and the suppression of opposition organizations. Threatened by revolutionary trends, the battle between Austria and Prussia over the hegemony of uniting Germany in 1866 was resolved when Prussia won the 6-week war. The Union was formed as the North German Confederation, devised by the Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. Its purpose was at the same time to curb itliberalism. The Union Parliament - the Reichstag - was inaugurated in February 1867.

Germany after 2005

Then the international financial crisis began to be marked in the summer of 2008, the German economy had emerged from the wave valley it was in at around the turn of the century. The budget deficit remained within the EU requirement, and industrial production secured the position as the world's largest exporting country, even though Germany was no longer the world's third largest economy - China has taken over that position after the US and Japan. Throughout the autumn, the country was still in a special position within the EU, with falling unemployment, down to just over 7% at the turn of the year, before the curve again pointed upwards, for the first time in three years. By the beginning of 2009, however, it became clear that the "locomotive of the European economy" had lost much of its traction; the economy shrank by over 2%. Major corporations with world-renowned brands were in deep crisis, not least the traditional and economically important automotive industry.

The German government opposed the EU's plans for a joint package against the financial crisis and even presented a package worth 17 billion euros, far less than in comparable countries. After a few months of hesitation, however, another $ 50 billion came in January 2009, the largest of all national crisis packages, with a comprehensive investment and incentive program. The hesitation regarding choice of instruments was attributed to the country's dismal experiences of the 1920s, with high borrowing and hyperinflation.

However, both the handling of the financial crisis and the previous austerity measures that had revitalized the economy also helped to increase the internal tensions in the major coalition between CDU / CSU and SPD. Tightening of pension and other welfare schemes, contention for minimum wages and packages with pay cuts, among other things. in parts of the big industry - much of it related to the Schedule 2010 restructuring plan from the Schröder government's time - had led to prolonged strikes and also in other ways showed its political explosiveness. In general, wage growth was hanging well after inflation, and the east / west divide in economic development, unemployment, etc. was still just as visible.

Cases related to nuclear power, military service and military engagement in Afghanistan, however, aggravated the government's wear and tear. At several state elections, the coalition partners were punished, in part, severely, even in their traditional electoral bastions. In 2008, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) made its fourth leadership change since 2004, in which Franz Müntefering returned as party leader, while Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier was nominated Chancellor in the federal election in September 2009.

The SPD struggled with internal controversy over political direction choices, but rejected all future cooperation at national level with the new party formation on the left, Die Linke, with the SPD breaker Oskar Lafontaine as one of the leaders. Both this party and the Peace Democrats had a headwind ahead of the election, while the right-wing extremist and anti-immigrant National Democratic Party (NPD), made strong progress in several eastern state elections. A generally declining turnout has raised concerns in the political environment. And by the most talked about referendum in recent years, attendance was too low to produce binding results; Thus, in 2008, politicians decided that Berlin's legendary Tempelhof airport should be closed, along with Tegel, while Schönefeld will resurrect as the new Berlin Brandenburg International.

In line with Germany's leading role in EU cooperation, the Bundestag in 2008, with an overwhelming majority, gave its support to the Reform Treaty (Lisbon Treaty), which will replace the rejected and more comprehensive "EU Constitution". The year before, Germany held the presidency both in the EU and in G8, and Chancellor Angela Merkel was named the world's most powerful woman, while she has been criticized domestically for spending much of her time in international forums.

The federal election on September 27, 2009 gave Angela Merkel a clear, renewed mandate. After four years of a major coalition and a financial crisis, the government parties waged a subdued election campaign with "social market economy" as a common multiple. Merkel's CDU / CSU had to note a decline of some tenths, to 33.8%. Even worse, the SPD government partner, which lost 11.2% of the 2005 election, ended up with a historically low 23% of the vote, leaving just over twice the left-wing party with roots in the former East German Communist Party. In sum, the two traditionally dominant players in German politics, CDU / CSU and SPD, had fallen to less than 57% of the votes, compared to over 80% in previous times. The three parties that formed a dissenting opposition in the period 2005-2009, the Peace Democrats, Linke and Grüne, everyone had a significant percentage increase; greatest for the liberal, and over the period more right-wing, FDP by 4.7%, to 14.6%. In the new federal day, CDU / CSU and FDP received a total of 332 and the 622 seats.

In the election campaign, Angela Merkel had pointed to the FDP who wanted a coalition partner. And now the big coalition could be replaced by a bourgeois majority government, with FDP leader Guido Westerwelle, who emerged as electoral winner, as Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor. The CDU received 8, FDP 5 and CSU 3 from the ministerial posts of the new government, which Merkel presented after being formally re-elected as Chancellor on October 28, 2009. The government declaration offered a tax cut of EUR 24 billion, particularly aimed at lower and middle income, a tab for FDP. One of the main objectives was to stimulate economic growth, so budget savings were pushed out in time. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) described it as utopiangetting the state budget in balance for the next four years; in 2009, there was a budget deficit of 4.5 per cent of the gross domestic product. The country with the EU's traditionally strongest economy thus saw no early opportunity to comply with the 3% requirement in the EU's Stability Pact.

Late autumn 2009 there were some signs of new growth after the financial crisis, but both government debt and unemployment continued to rise. For 2010, the forecasts pointed to a vacancy of as much as 10%, while debt items would account for 60% of GDP. In addition to tax cuts, the duty of defense was reduced from nine to six months and a comprehensive review of the funding of health care was central to the Government Declaration; similarly, continued operation of the country's 17 nuclear power plants, which will be phased out by 2020 in a previous legislative act. This point triggered several mass demonstrations in German major cities. However, the power plants are instructed to contribute more to the development of alternative energy. Another point in the statement warns the sharp surveillance of extreme Islamists.

 

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