Chancellor Challenge

Grassroots Aren't Gunning for Gabriel

Germany's left hope Chancellor Angela Merkel is slipping. But is Sigmar Gabriel the man to take her down? Source: DPA
Germany's left hope Chancellor Angela Merkel is slipping. But is Sigmar Gabriel the man to take her down?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party, has announced he intends to take on Chancellor Merkel at the next election. But, the author argues, his party isn’t convinced.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • Chancellor Merkel’s popularity has dipped due to her handling of the refugee crisis.
    • This has raised hopes in the SPD that Ms. Merkel might finally be losing her long-held grip on power.
    • Established party leader Mr. Gabriel seems well positioned to take her down, but many have been alienated by his pro-business stance.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Sigmar Gabriel gets a lot of flak. Some say he isn’t reliable, others that he’s over-the-top and flippant when he talks.

But in purely political terms, Mr. Gabriel is the equal of any of Germany’s top politicians. Not least because he knows precisely when to drop his defensive stance and go on the attack, often to the surprise of his opponents.

What a coup to have caused such a storm with his early announcement that he wants to be the one to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel for the top job in two years’ time. We already knew that, of course. 

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