Sigmar Gabriel

Merkel’s Weakened Challenger

Sommerreise des SPD-Bundesvorsitzenden Gabriel
SPD leader and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel visits Nordex Energy in Rostock.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Sigmar Gabriel was once considered a serious contender for the chancellorship, but a series of controversial policy decisions have changed that.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Social Democrat leader Sigmar Gabriel is under fire for his botched handling of the merger between Edeka and Kaiser Tengelmann’s supermarkets.
    • He also championed the deeply unpopular U.S.-E.U. free trade deal.
    • He plans to run against Chancellor Angela Merkel in the 2017 election but opinion polls suggest he has little hope of defeating her.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the center-left Social Democrats, faces a steep uphill battle to unseat Chancellor Angela Merkel in the general election next year.

In his role as economics minister, he’s come under fire for approving a controversial supermarket merger between Edeka and Kaiser’s Tengelmann against the advice of anti-trust authorities.

A court that later overruled the approval criticized his decision and accused Mr. Gabriel of being biased. Indeed it has just been made public that Mr. Gabriel met Edeka Chief Executive Markus Mosa and the head of the Verdi services trade union, Frank Bsirske, last December, adding to the impression that he wasn’t transparent enough about how he reached his decision.

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