German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel was in a good mood Wednesday as he presented the government’s annual assessment of Europe’s largest economy.
“The German economy is in good condition,” said the chairman of the center-Social Democratic Party.
He said the German economy would continue growing in 2015, as would the number of people in work. He credited the foresightful government policies that led to flexible corporate labor and industrial policies, and solid finances.
But alongside the self-congratulation, Mr. Gabriel said: “We should not have any illusions about the major challenges that lie before us.”
These challenges must be mastered in 2015. The political gifts have already been handed out. By 2016, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s unwieldy right-left coalition of conservative Christian Democrats and Social Democrats will be paralyzed by state elections in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
And a year later, the coalition partners will be vying in the general election.