After 15 years at the helm of Europe’s largest economy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel bows out this year. On Saturday, the Christian Democratic Union picks a new leader, who will likely become chancellor after September elections.
Battling it out are centrist Armin Laschet, arch-conservative Friedrich Merz and foreign policy expert Norbert Roettgen. But Markus Soeder of the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, might well upset the race.
For markets, the candidates’ attitudes to fiscal policy is key. Merkel, known affectionately as ‘Mutti’ or mother, jettisoned her party’s antagonism to deficits, spent more and accepted moving toward joint debt to save the euro zone.
Merkel’s successor probably won’t backtrack completely but concerns linger nonetheless about how quickly Germany might pull back to fiscal orthodoxy under a new leader.
– Kingmaker manoeuvres behind the men vying to succeed Germany’s Merkel