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I think both of you are partially right.

Merkel got starting help from Kohl (he just called her "Das Mädchen"), who made her environment minister. (A bad one IMO, one acting as the sweep-under-the-rug woman, with enough PR sense to for example come clean of the polluted nuclear waste container scandal.)

But, when about six years ago Kohl's party finance scandal broke, it was her who gained profile by publicly breaking with him. She tossed aside Kohl insiders (and Kohl's estranged onetime consigliere, who also broke with him over the party finance scandal, the now interior-minister-to-be Schäuble) Kohl again gave his support to her only years later.

But after Merkel first tossed the Kohl old-boys-network, the heavywheights in the CDU (not to mention the CSU with its own power aspirants) were not her followers, but the so-called "Anden-Pakt" (Andes Alliance). In the late seventies, on a plane to Pinochet's Chile, a group of CDU yuppies forged this alliance to help and never criticise each other, nor to run for the same post. Now members head at least three Länder - including Hessen, led by the worst of the worst in the CDU, Roland Koch (maybe you remember, I wrote a diary about him, and his hope of becoming CDU leader if the Grand Coalition fails to materialise). The US neocons like them, Koch in particular (who, unlike Merkel, was granted a visit to the White House - and that unscheduled).

Since Merkel is party leader, she battles the Anden-Pakt, lately with some old-boys-network support. The Anden-Pakt guys won a battle back in 2002 when Stoiber was made chancellor candidate in her stead, but Merkel trounced them during a coup attempt a year later. But they are not out at all.

As a final note, I dislike Merkel because I think she stands for nothing. Like Schröder, she is interested in power first, but unlike Schröder, she is less of a populist and big business appeaser ('Genosse der Bosse') than a 'power technologist', shaping her ideology based on what power groups she wants to build her power on.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Oct 10th, 2005 at 06:01:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh ... I should know all these things, but I don't. Thanks so much.
by mimi on Mon Oct 10th, 2005 at 08:00:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You disregarded Rule #1 of internet political discussions:

NEVER apologise!

;-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 11th, 2005 at 04:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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