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Krautsource - Links for election day

Jannis Brühl
Jannis Brühl
Today is election day. Germans are heading for the polls or have already voted by mail (like myself). There are some hints in the last polls that the gap between the leading Social Democrats and Conservatives is narrowing, but let’s see what happens. One thing is for sure: There is going to be a new chancellor and a new coalition, and chances are high this coalition is going to be a combination of parties we have never seen before on the national level.
I want to supply you with some interesting English-language links every week, and here are some for today to bridge the time until 6pm CET, when the first results will be announced.
If you know people who might be interested in Krautsource, don’t be shy to forward them this email and ask them to sign up.

What to read now
  • Merkel is on her way out: In this New York Times op-ed, Anna Sauerbrey writes a farewell to the chancellor. Sauerbrey feels what I feel as well: It is time for Merkel to go, even if she is still so much more popular than the candidates trying to succeed her (I would prefer a limit on terms someone can govern the country, as in the United States.) Sauerbrey describes Germans’ feelings about Merkels departure as “affectionate nostalgia, tinged with a drop of irony. Yet there’s also fatigue, verging on irritation, a twitchy restlessness to see her off and start afresh”. Remember that the 18-year-olds that are going to vote for the first time today can not remember a Germany with a different chancellor than Merkel.
  • It is going to rain money - but where will it come from? Erik Nielsen, group chief economist at Unicredit, was allowed to set forth the views of his bank in this Financial Times op-ed. He describes the challenges for any new government to raise the money for green technologies. Now, I do not think that “investors” are a very important constituency (citizens are!), but this gives you a feeling about the financial questions looming behind the coming climate policies. And Germans really like at least the appearance that things are solidly financed (even though i suspect some in the Green party and the SPD of believing in Modern Monetary Theory, where high government spending is basically not seen as a problem). Plus you can learn something about exotic ways to finance a state budget without hurting the debt rules.
  • The Greens have lost ground in the polls and are now only polling at around 16 percent. This might be because of slip-ups of their candidate Annalena Baerbock or the campaign of Olaf Scholz for the Social Democrats often lauded by observers. However, the Green party has a high chance of being part of the next government, no matter what other parties might be in it. I discovered this piece on the history of the Greens in the British New Left Review (a choice that balances out the FT op-ed neatly, i guess). It was written in 2013, so the climate discussion is very much in the background, but it is a beautiful narrative of the radical-cum-mainstream-party that has so heavily influenced Germanys other major parties, that urban and young Germans love so much today - and that purists of the original Greens often hate. You can learn a lot from it.
  • For those of you who have had enough election coverage (how could you? The race is SO CLOSE!!), I have a real-life military-thriller: Rifts have developed between some people in the security forces of Germany and the state they are serving. The New York Times podcast “Day X” is named after conspiracy fantasies about a day when public order breaks down. It takes you into the subculture of right-wing soldiers dreaming about provoking some sort of a civil war or coup. Original reporting in Germany on the issue was done by Die Tageszeitung.
Tweet of the week
Economist Berlin bureau chief Tom Nuttall facepalming over the German conservatives’ use of BDSM-imagery to show their commitment to the “black zero” - meaning they prefer a state budget that does not need new debt (a strategy Nuttall considers to be not very smart).
Have a good election day, everyone
The campaign of Olaf Scholz (left) and the Social Democrats is so far considered a success. In the polls, the party moved from third to first place within weeks and is now leading with 25 percent. On the right Jan Dieren, candidate in district 114 in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The campaign of Olaf Scholz (left) and the Social Democrats is so far considered a success. In the polls, the party moved from third to first place within weeks and is now leading with 25 percent. On the right Jan Dieren, candidate in district 114 in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
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Jannis Brühl
Jannis Brühl @jbruehl

This is my newsletter about German politics and history for an international audience. Why stay national and not take journalism to the global stage? Expect a lot of Realpolitik, plenty of Zeitgeist and maybe even some Schadenfreude.

I have been a journalist for more than a decade, working in New York City, Berlin and Cologne, and now head the technology news team at a major German media house in Munich. I hold a Masters degree in Political Science and American Cultural Studies. And I like rap music.

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