Germany: From Shroeder to Stoiber

Edmund Stoiber is Germany’s rising star who looks set to be the next Chancellor as Schroeder’s work for all message fades with the winds of international recession.

Born in 1941, Stoiber, a lawyer, has governed Bavaria with great success since 1993. Able to show the results of a successful period of management spanning the best part of a decade, he is ten points clear of Schroeder in the opinion polls and, barring a disaster, looks unassailable in his bid to be the next Chancellor of Germany.

Stoiber’s Bavaria has an unemployment rate of five per cent, compared to the rest of the country’s 10% and the second lowest crime rate in Germany, while his policies to defend the Small and Medium Companies (SMCs) has attracted a lot of foreign investment to the state.

His message to the nation is that while Scroeder paid too much attention to the barons of industry, earning him the nickname “the bosses’ friend”, Stoiber will defend the middle class and SMCs with a tax reform. Describing himself as being “a man from the political centre”, the CDU/CSU candidate blames Schroeder for letting Germany slip down the league table of economic performances in Europe.

That Schroeder is in trouble, there is no doubt. Five months before the legislative elections, he hits the lowest popularity rates in his term as Chancellor, with only 31% of the voting intentions, compared to Stoiber’s 41%. The Green party stand at 7% and the Liberals (FPD) have 12%, with the PDS (Social Democrats, ex-Communists) steady at 6%.

Stoiber will expect to see the CDU/CSU share of the vote increase in September’s legislative elections as he courts the middle class with phrases such as “The middle class is the motor of the German economy” and the promotion of “a fiscal policy which does not favour the great enterprises over the middle class”.

If he can keep up the momentum, Stoiber will be man to do business with in Germany in the near future.


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