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Carsten Brzeski, chief economist at ING, suggests that Germany is heading towards another make-it-or-break-it election on 26 May and the fate of the German coalition depends on it.

Key Quotes

“Bremen is the smallest state in Germany and one of the poorest, with the highest unemployment rate. A port city with a long and proud history, in which the Social Democrats, the SPD, have ruled in various coalitions almost continuously. And now, the red fortress is about to fall for the first time since World War II. Why should anyone outside of Bremen care? Because if the SPD suffers another severe defeat, it could have consequences in Berlin.”

“In Bremen, the mayor election is a neck-and-neck race between the SPD and the CDU, with the very latest opinion polls seeing a lead for the CDU. If Bremen changes its political colour, there is a high risk that the SPD will withdraw from the federal government.”

“Losing Bremen would be more symbolic than losing in the European elections. But add to this the frequent speculation in the German media about Chancellor Angela Merkel stepping down before the 2021 elections to pave the way for a successor, and the ingredients for a stormy political summer in Germany are all in place.”

“When watching election results on Sunday, don’t just focus on the European elections, keep a close eye on Bremen, too. The noise that these state elections produce could make their famous town musicians proud.”