Neoliberalism : Merkel : attempted regime change?


Richard Moore

    Some sections of the press have labelled her as
    Germany's Margaret Thatcher.

You might recall an earlier posting, in which it was alleged
that the Bilderberger crowd was grooming Merkel to take power
in Germany:
    Sep 16: Breaking the Silence: Bilderberg Exposed



Profile: Angela Merkel 

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel could
still become Germany's first woman chancellor, despite only
scraping a victory in the 18 September election.

Her campaign team had worked hard to banish the "dowdy" image
which was said to have made her less charismatic than her
rival Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

She spruced up her appearance, wearing bright colours and
sporting a new hairstyle, while the Rolling Stones hit "Angie"
was played at her rallies.

But Mr Schroeder's skilful campaigning eroded her early poll

As a Protestant east German woman Angela Merkel, 51, broke the
leadership mould in the CDU, traditionally dominated by
Catholic west German men.

Break with Kohl

She first came to prominence five years ago during a CDU party
slush fund scandal.

She had strongly denied allegations that bribes were paid for
the supply of tanks to Saudi Arabia, describing them as
"totally absurd".

But as the crisis deepened and the full scale of  former
chancellor Helmut Kohl's role in it became apparent, she was
the first former Kohl ally to publicly break with the man who
brought her into the cabinet.

'New Thatcher'

The move paid dividends and she was chosen to lead the party
in April 2000.

    1954: Born Hamburg 
    1978: Earned physics doctorate 
    1990: Joined CDU 
    1994: Takes environment job 
    2000: Becomes CDU leader 

Yet she was not popular enough to be selected as the party's
candidate for chancellor in 2002, and was beaten by Edmund
Stoiber, leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the
Christian Social Union (CSU).

The Merkel-Stoiber relationship is said to be still difficult
- and has not been helped by Mr Stoiber's controversial
remarks about east Germans during this campaign.

Some sections of the press have labelled her as Germany's
Margaret Thatcher.

But according to Ulrich Klinkert, her deputy when she headed
the environment ministry in the mid-1990s, comparisons with
the "Iron Lady" are mistaken.

"She is a little bit Margaret Thatcher and a little bit Tony
Blair," he says.

Politically, she occupies more centrist ground on social
issues such as abortion and legal rights for gay couples.

But she has castigated Mr Schroeder on the economy, pointing
to Germany's record post-war unemployment rate and pledging a
raft of measures to cut the non-wage labour bill.

The CDU plans to ease the rules for dismissing workers, limit 
sector-wide wage deals and increase sales tax.

Role model

She has played down the gender issue and brushed off media
gibes about her plain appearance.

Some CDU members see her as something of a role model.

Katerina Reiche once said Mrs Merkel stood for family values,
but not as the party has known it before.

"In former times, being married was important - now we talk of
families being important, but not necessarily the marriage as
an institution. Even in a gay relationship people take care of
each other - that's a switch for a conservative party."

Science background

Born in Hamburg, Angela Merkel was only a couple of months old
when her father, a Lutheran pastor, was given a parish in a
small town in East Germany.

She grew up in a rural area outside Berlin in the communist
east, and showed a great talent for maths, science and

She earned a doctorate in physics but later worked as  a
chemist at a scientific academy in East Berlin.

In 1989 she became involved in the burgeoning democracy
movement, and, after the Berlin Wall came down, she got a job
as government spokeswoman following the first democratic

She joined the CDU two months before the reunification of
Germany and within three months she was in the Kohl cabinet as
minister for women and youth.

In her political career to date she has outlasted four
political bosses, in the east and west, and is the only
prominent Ossi (easterner) to have survived in the CDU

She is married to a chemistry professor from Berlin, Joachim
Sauer. The couple do not have any children.

Story from BBC NEWS: 

Published: 2005/09/19 12:05:54 GMT 


"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"