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“Germany bears an immense responsibility”

How the international media commented on the outcome of the German general elections and what they expect of Angela Merkel.

Bundestagswahl 2017
© dpa

New York Times

“Ms. Merkel and her center-right Christian Democrats won, the center held, but it was weakened. The results made clear that far-right populism — and anxieties over security and national identity — were far from dead in Europe. They also showed that Germany’s mainstream parties were not immune to the same troubles that have afflicted mainstream parties across the Continent, from Italy to France to Britain.”

The Times (London)

“More than five million voters ignored appeals from Mrs Merkel and other mainstream leaders not to back the Alternative for Germany (AfD) as it came third with 13 per cent of votes and about 90 seats in parliament. […] The party’s success showed that Germany was not immune from the nationalism sweeping Europe and the United states as voters reject globalization and mass immigration.”

Le Figaro (Paris)

“Angela Merkel had thought the pull of the AfD would ebb once the refugee crisis was over. The inflow of refugees may have dropped drastically, but the radical right has established itself. It is unlikely to disappear from German politics for a long time to come.”

Iswestiya (Moscow)

“It is now time for Berlin to give its policies on eastern Europe a new shape.”

Die Presse (Vienna)

“Germany has shifted right. With a delay of two years the German electorate has presented the bill for the refugee crisis. This was the one and only theme that made the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) so strong. In a different political setting, the right-wing nationalists would long since have landed on history’s trash heap given their strikingly weak leadership and recurrent trench warfare.”

NZZ (Zurich)

“Angela Merkel will by all accounts remain Chancellor after the general elections on 24 September. […] How calming it is to have the country led by someone who always brings order and reliability to things in a world which is actually so incredibly hard to grasp.”

Jyllands-Posten (Aarhus, Denmark)

“With the entry of the AfD into German parliament, European reality has caught up with Germany [...] They key message, however, is quite clearly that the phenomenon called Angela Merkel can go on. In uncertain times world-wide, stability, responsibility and credibility are fortunately thus still being underlined in Germany. In everyone’s interest.”

Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw)

“Irrespective of which coalition partner Angela Merkel chooses, Germany remains the most important EU member state, its most important economy and the stabilizer of politics in our part of the world.”

Magyar Nemzet (Budapest)

“With the exit of the Brits, only Germany remains as a decisive force in the European Union, which is not just a great opportunity, but an immense responsibility.”

El País (Madrid)

“The entry of the AfD into parliament with almost 100 MPs and as the country’s third largest party confirms the sad times that the representative democracies in Europe and elsewhere are currently going through. They are subject to strong populist pressures […]. The German democrats must now ensure that the xenophobic and Eurosceptic alternative that the AfD represents changes neither the country’s politics nor its values.”