0426 GMT June 20, 2018
Controversial policies pursued by US President Donald Trump have posed big challenges to the European Union.
The EU, particularly Germany, is struggling to cope with such policies.
Presently, Trump’s behavior is one of the hot topics discussed in Germany’s electoral campaigns ahead of this month’s federal elections and the election of the country’s next chancellor.
Polls suggest that the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, is 17 percent ahead of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), due to achieving a good economic growth rate and reducing unemployment.
SPD’s leader Martin Schulz is criticizing Merkel’s moderate policies toward the Trump administration to influence public opinion and reduce his party’s gap with the CDU in the polls.
In other words, Trump’s call on Merkel to boost the country’s military spending in NATO by two percent, to reach $70 billion, has provided a good opportunity for Schulz’s party to question the incumbent chancellor’s approaches.
Earlier, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel slammed Merkel’s stance toward the White House as a political mistake. He also called on Berlin to adopt reciprocal measures against Trump’s policies.
Although Merkel is under fire for adopting a moderate approach toward the adventurous policies of the Trump administration, she has partly managed to counter these policies.
Merkel has also adopted rational approaches in response to the White House’s threats to abandon the Paris climate agreement, its threats against North Korea’s missile program, and the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), as well as the G20 summits and the issue of migrants.
These rational policies have led to the isolation of Trump’s aggressive stance.
To sum up, despite domestic pressure on Merkel for refusing to reciprocate the US president’s approaches, her party is leading in the polls.
Now, a question remains unanswered: Will the September 24 election end a coalition system in Germany, or will Merkel have to form a political coalition with her rival’s party?