Election Coverage

Germany Votes

Refugee Crisis

Setting A Cap On Refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling Christian Democracts and their Bavarian sister party respond to election losses.

Election Comedown

The SPD licks its wounds

Fresh from its biggest losses since World War II, the SPD is deciding how to regroup. A state vote in Lower Saxony could help soothe the bruises.

German Politics

Bringing ‘Homeland’ Back

The electoral success of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party is forcing centrist politicians to reclaim a concept of community once promoted in Nazi Germany.

Merkel's Challenge

Let the Marathon Begin

Coalition talks start this weekend with a testy meeting between Angela Merkel and her Bavarian CSU sister party. Christian Lindner, head of the Free Democrats, seems to be aligning himself with the latter.

New Coalition

Europe’s Future after Germany’s Election

Despite the arrival of an anti-EU party in the German parliament, the new Bundestag and government could end political stagnation not just in Germany, but at the European level, too.

German Unity

New Walls Divide East and West

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier marked the national holiday with a sober speech about fissures in German society exposed by the recent election.

Reunification day

The East German Problem

On October 3, when Germans are supposed to be celebrating the reunification of East and West, the results of the recent election have some questioning whether it was a good idea at all.

germany refugee apprenticeships integration


Germany’s phony debate on refugee caps

Conservatives must stop quarreling over a cap on Germany’s annual refugee intake and instead start focusing on integration of migrants who are already here, a leading economist says.

election results

No ‘Tectonic Quake’ is Rocking Germany

Don’t buy the conventional wisdom just yet. One of Germany’s preeminent pollsters dives deeper into the numbers and discovers what September 24 was really about.

Election Fallout

Breaking Too Many Taboos

Israel and Jewish groups are concerned that the election success of a far right party may incite anti-Jewish attacks.

Problem Zones

Germany’s Economic To-Do List

The new government must focus on five policy challenges spanning climate change through to an aging society, writes a German economist.

AfD Voters

Revolt in the Voting Booth

Many disgruntled Germans chose the AfD mainly as a protest vote, despite its xenophobia not because of it, writes Handelsblatt’s Berlin bureau chief.

German Election

Live Blog: Angela Merkel’s Chastened Victory

Voters have handed Angela Merkel a fourth term, but with a dramatically reduced number of seats in parliament. Follow our live coverage of the evening.

The election of 2017

A Fourth Term for Merkel in a Very Different Germany

Angela Merkel will stay in office, but the night’s biggest winner is a right-wing populist party, the Alternative for Germany.

Sino-German Relations

The Global Leadership Vacuum

Why Germany and China could fill the power vacuum created by Donald Trump. And why they may not be able to, writes Javier Solana.

Snoozer Election

A Job For Satirists

Go ahead and whine about how boring the German election is. Or watch these videos.

European Expansion

Redefining Europe and the Europeans

Ask not what your continent looks like, writes a former Swedish prime minister, but what you want it to look like.

germany's strong export economy

Euro Zone

Germany’s Hour

The EU rules through its institutions, but the German government rules those institutions. On the eve of Germany’s election, a look at its rise to unwitting power.

Weekly Review

How we think about Germany’s choices on 24 September

About the horse race, everything that can be said has been said. Our editor-in-chief steps back and ponders the options.

Budget Surplus

How To Spend It

Germany's political parties have made a rash of big-spending promises ahead of Sunday's elections, many based on the country's extra income. But local economists are warning there isn't as much spare as politicians think.

Online voter tools

The Tinderization of Democracy

Some voters use computer algorithms to figure out how to vote. Is that helpful – or dangerous for democratic debate?

German democracy

The Non-Voters’ Dilemma

With party politics showing clear signs of fatigue, it would be understandable if many citizens chose not to vote on Sunday. Yet German democracy can only be re-energized if they do.

political options

Wanting Change, Voting for None

A new study shows Germans wish Berlin would govern differently and points to immigration, security and fiscal sovereignty.

German Election

Not Another Grand Coalition

A third grand coalition under Angela Merkel would cover up too many problems, writes Handelsblatt’s Berlin bureau chief.

political satire

Pranking the Parties

Drag queens and comedians have made a mockery of this year's German election — but their message is much more serious than their means.

Alternative for Germany

Cosmopolitan Lesbian Turns Far-Right Agitator

Alice Weidel is the female face of the country’s traditionalist, nationalist and often xenophobic populist party, Alternative for Germany.

Ex-Party Leader

Is Sigmar Gabriel Germany’s Bernie Sanders?

The Social Democrats are struggling to regain their voter base among working class Germans and may have chosen the wrong man to lead the fight.

Russia Backed

Gaining Strength on Germany’s Hard Right

With its tough anti-immigrant message, the far right Alternative for Germany is gaining ground, forcing Chancellor Angela Merkel to sound more against open borders herself.

Coalition Partners

Difficult Kingmakers

If Angela Merkel wants to avoid another "grand coalition" with the Social Democrats, she'll have to reach a deal with a group of smaller parties that don't much like each other.

Weekly Review

Of parties, colors, compounds and power — and of course Angela Merkel

If all you care about is who the German chancellor will be after September 24, stop reading. If you want to understand future German policy, start here.


The New Friction Between Berlin and Washington

Trade, Russia, Iran, defense spending: Various conflicts are simmering between Germany and the United States that could come to a boil after the German election next week.


Merkel Seen Romping to Victory, But Losing MPs

Germany’s complex electoral system means the winners could end up with fewer seats, leaving some high-ranking politicians fearing for their future.

international relations

An American Political Tragedy

A Berlin professor suggests an unusual solution for those fed up with US foreign policy.


Fake news failing, but hackers still in the game

Misinformation and hacker attacks could still blot the German election, but the danger seems less acute than in the United States.


Should Germany step up to lead the West?

Germans face momentous decisions about the future of their country, of Europe, and perhaps the world. Here's what the election campaign should really be about.


Gabriel on the Hook with Putin

Germany’s foreign minister is swallowing Russia’s sham peace plan for Ukraine hook, line and sinker, writes a Handelsblatt politics correspondent.

Fiber optics

High-Speed Internet: A Hot-Button Election Issue

Germany has one of the lowest rates of adoption for fiber-optic cable in the world. Politicians are promising to do something to boost connection speeds, both for companies and for people in rural areas.

Pension Promises

Merkel Stamps Out Fuse on Pensions Time Bomb

Angela Merkel has unintentionally livened up the election campaign by promising her aging countryfolk that they won’t have to keep working until 70. A grateful opposition smells fake news.

Education Reform

16 States, 16 Systems

Germany’s education system is famously decentralized. But that fragmentation, critics say, is undermining standards in core subjects, including science and technology.

Wolfgang Schäuble

Faithful to His Beliefs

Facing an uncertain future after this month’s election, Germany’s veteran finance minister remains as crusty as ever about the challenges facing banks.

Bundestag Debate

Finally Some Fireworks

The last parliamentary debate before the election pitted Chancellor Angela Merkel against once and future opposition leaders in a spirited exchange.

Third-Place Rivals

Passion on the Fringes

Germany's smaller parties displayed far more heat in a TV debate Monday night than their larger centrist rivals. That could have real consequences for the country.

German Election

He Swings, She Ducks

The only televised debate between Germany's two major chancellor candidates was a snoozer with no major policy differences. That helps Angela Merkel.

Weekly Review

Merkel vs Schulz: an American duel for German chancellor

If US presidential debates resemble the O.K. Corral, German debates used to evoke smoke-filled salons. As the candidates for chancellor prepare for their only TV duel before September 24th, our editor-in-chief laments the inappropriateness of the American format.

Summer press conference

Merkel Warms Up for TV Debate

Chancellor Angela Merkel sparred with journalists ahead of Sunday’s television debate with her Social Democratic challenger, fielding a wide range of questions with ease and, in some cases, humor.

School Reform

Tilting at Windmills

Three German parties are attempting to woo voters by standardizing the country's highly fractured education system. Chances of success are next to nil.

Liberal Manifesto

Germany Needs European-Style Liberalism

September's election gives Germans a chance to put European-style liberals back into power. Policies founded on individual liberty and constitutionally limited government are much needed, three German liberals say.

Weekly Review

Listening to Merkel: A Guided Tour

Angela Merkel came to visit Handelsblatt this week, and made our editor-in-chief ponder what this election is really about.

Handelsblatt Interview

Merkel, Uncut

The German chancellor explains why she thinks Germany's prosperity is threatened and why she regards America as a wounded nation. Handelsblatt's publisher, Gabor Steingart, talked to Angela Merkel about globalization and its consequences.

Election campaign

Labor minister attacks Merkel on social justice

One month before Germany votes, Social Democrat Labor Minister Andrea Nahles spoke about her party's social justice policies – and having its message usurped by Angela Merkel.

Angela Merkel

Ahead, Relaxed, Reflective

A confident German chancellor, in an on-stage interview with Handelsblatt, talks about what we can learn from Donald Trump, North Korea and the need for Europe to speak with a louder voice.

tax policy

A Taxing Election Issue

In an election where differences between the main parties are hard to spot, tax programs set them apart. Handelsblatt takes a close look at their major tax proposals.

German Elections

Nothing to Fear from Refugees

A few months ago it looked like the topic of immigration could keep Angela Merkel from a fourth term in office, but things have changed a lot since then.

Gerhard Schröder

The Enemy Within

The nomination of the still-influential former chancellor to the board of Russian state oil company Rosneft is posing a problem for his Social Democratic Party during Germany’s election campaign.

Safe Hands

Germany Sleepwalks into Election

The German election campaign has had a soporifically slow start. Is the chancellor trying to bore voters into maintaining the status quo?

home stretch

Easing into Electioneering

Chancellor Angela Merkel talked NATO, Donald Trump, and what she likes about her rivals in an interview launching campaign season.

German elections

The Change Candidate Who Needs to Change

A new study published just weeks ahead of Germany’s elections shows that voters want change. The problem is, they don’t really like Martin Schulz, the only realistic alternative to Angela Merkel.

Christian Democrats

Not Your Average Backbencher

One likely newcomer to the Bundestag after September 24 is Thomas Heilmann. Having done seemingly every other job already, he may be one to watch.

Defection Debacle

Snap State Election Goes National

Just weeks before the federal election, the Social Democrats have suffered a demoralizing blow in the state of Lower Saxony. The SPD's effort to unseat German Chancellor Angela Merkel now looks more imperiled than ever.

Germany’s Liberals

Free Democrats Thinking in New Ways

Germany’s pro-business party is making a stunning comeback. An American expert on Germany ponders what that could mean for the next government.

Angela Merkel

The Body Language of Power

In a world of bullies and machos, Angela Merkel keeps ending up on top. Andreas Kluth, our editor-in-chief, deconstructs how.

Lose-lose-lose situation

Martin Schulz’s Refugee Gamble

Politicians try to make refugees an election issue two months ahead of the polls. This could upset a delicate balance across Europe, writes a policy expert.

germany housing crisis, berlin construction

Merkel vs. Schulz

Housing Shortage Gets Political

With skyrocketing rents and housing prices in much of Germany, Social Democrats hope to turn housing into an election issue against Angela Merkel.

Everyday Populists

No Extremism Please, We’re German

Given Germany’s history, the reassuringly unalarming results of a new study on populism are perhaps not all that unexpected. But there were still some surprises - including the fact that most of Germany’s populists are also centrists.

Free Democrats

A Hopeful Kingmaker

The pro-business FDP has announced its campaign manifesto, calling for deep tax cuts and a new immigration law, as the party navigates a return to Berlin.

Martin Schulz

Praying For a Chance

Many think the Social Democratic contender for chancellor has already lost his struggle to push Angela Merkel from her throne. Has he?

Merkel's Manifesto

More Police, Homes and Jobs

Angela Merkel and her Bavarian ally, Horst Seehofer, know what many conservative voters want to hear around election time, delivering a list of pledges on Monday to secure their votes in September.

rising stars

The CDU’s Got Talent

A group of Chancellor Angela Merkel's possible successors meets Mondays at a breakfast club, jockeying for positions ahead of the election.

Federal Election

Schulz Shadowboxes Merkel

Martin Schulz is desperately trying to save the decline of his campaign, this time by better defining policies. But a top economist told Handelsblatt some plans are a "mess".

Federal Elections

Merkel’s Conservative Bloc Shows Cracks

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are struggling to agree an election manifesto because of continued disagreement over her open-door refugee policy.

Manuela Schwesig

The Rising Star from the East

Once dismissed as "Seaside Barbie," Mecklenburg-West Pomerania's formidable new state premier could go all the way to the chancellery.


Merkel’s House of Cards

Germany's conservatives are dominating the opinion polls, but a dearth of concrete policy proposals could give the Social Democrats another opening.

Merkel and Schulz

A Dangerous Lack of Vision

Campaigning for German elections is ramping up. But so far, politicians’ promises are more about superficial change than any grand vision for the nation's future. And that is perilous.

Social Democrats

Schulz Attack

Martin Schulz, the SPD's challenger to Angela Merkel, is down in the polls but not out. His party just renewed its vows to him. Merkel's Christian Democrats find much to make fun of.

Party Manifesto

Greens Dump Coal, Embrace Same-Sex Marriage

Germany's environmental party, down in the polls, hopes to gain votes with an election manifesto heavy on climate and human-rights issues, with a dash of security.


Standing Up for Freedom

Trying to be re-elected to the Bundestag in September, the pro-business Free Democrats are focusing on civil liberties over tax cuts.

Election Campaign

Social Democrats Surprise with Measured Tax Proposal

Chancellor Merkel's challengers presented their long-awaited tax proposal ahead of the federal elections and struck a measured tone that saw unexpected changes in key demands.

Power Poker

The Social Democrats’ Leftist Option

Germany's most left-leaning party has opened the door for a possible coalition with the Social Democrats and the Greens, should the numbers add up after September's federal elections.


Liberal Leader Says German Economy is ‘on Drugs’

Christian Lindner, in a Handelsblatt interview, says the Germany economy is artificially inflated and warns that Chancellor Merkel's conservatives are too complacent.

Social Democrats

Pension Pandering

With a multi-billion-euro pension reform proposal, Social Democratic chancellor candidate Martin Schulz hopes to give his struggling party a boost in the polls ahead of the federal election.