Macron to Host Two German Chancellor Candidates, Not the Green
(Bloomberg) -- With the German election campaign picking up speed, two leading candidates to succeed Angela Merkel have locked in meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron. But in an announcement from the Elysee palace there is a notable exception: the Green.
Macron will meet first Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who has engineered an unlikely poll surge for his Social Democratic party to become the favorite. His meeting is on Monday. Next up on Wednesday is conservative Armin Laschet, who now leads Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union but who has stumbled ahead of the Sept. 26 election.
The conspicuous absentee from the late Friday night statement was Annalena Baerbock, whose Green party will almost surely form part of a future ruling coalition. Asked about why Macron was not seeing her too, the French presidency said it had no further comment besides the statement.
This is the most unpredictable German election in decades. Initially, voter enthusiasm was with the Greens but support has now shifted to Scholz. He had looked like the dark horse in the race but has steadily presented himself as Merkel’s true heir. France and Germany are close allies and set the tone for European policy. At this stage in the campaign, optics are key and appearing to be first to see an influential decision-maker looks like a tactical win.
The CDU have slumped to record lows in the latest polls, dropping to as low as 21% in one survey, with the SPD as high as 25% in several others. The Greens are third on about 17%.
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