Definitely contrary to what many had expected, the German Christian Democratic Party led by Chancellor Angela Merkel is still very much on track. Few were those who had predicted that in the recent Saarland State Parliament elections this party would be the only one amongst the established parties that would increase its support and number of seats. In fact, there had even been those who had anticipated that the Chancellor was heading towards an electoral defeat but the result was exactly the opposite. The reasons for this success can be linked to a number of factors which influenced directly a cautious electorate .
Angela Merkel has been through difficult times in these last months. She found herself under attack even within her own country, in particular after the great influx into of irregular immigrants. That position has changed significantly . Mainly because she engendered in many people feelings of empathy and respect towards her as a result of the exemplary way in which she conducted herself during the meeting she had with the President of the USA, Donald Trump. Where she reaffirmed the European position with great attention and clear direction. No empty talk and was not, in any manner, aggressive but always very reasonable even when her move to shake President Trump’s hand was undiplomatically and uncourteously ignored. She did not lose her composure and to my mind the incident served to increase her standing.
In truth Angela Merkel, in the years since 2005 when she became Chancellor, has worked in an accomplished manner to provide a steady direction to her country and to Europe. She has succeeded in safeguarding the relevance of the Christian Democratic Party by remaining faithful to the Christian values and principles which inspired and guided the founding fathers of her party. She was careful to move with the greatest wisdom, in the complex situations that were brought about by the financial crisis. And above all, she kept her integrity intact. She steered clear of corruption or abuse of power. Untouched by any personal scandal, as she has dedicated herself completely to an active and committed political role. Such that now, whilst approaching her twelfth successive year as the German Chancellor, the respect towards her has consolidated.
Her recent visit to our islands during the European People’s Party Congress in the company of the Leader of the Opposition Dr. Simon Busuttil leads me to conclude further. Today we can certainly look at Merkel as a leader who follows in this tradition of statesmen of integrity and direction. She has become a stabilizing force, both for her country as well as for the European Union. Whereas other leaders and countries have changed their orientation, she has remained steadfast in her beliefs and in her path. She has retained a moderate and attentive stance in the political centre. She has not succumbed to demagoguing or hysterical speeches but she has calmly lead her country forward notwithstanding the obstacles. These are qualities which are appreciated in a country which values stability.
It is proof that a centrist party does not need to veer towards the right to retain its electoral support. Instead, it should strive to understand that it is by following its underlying Christian values and by applying its Christian democratic ideology that it will retain support . We are living in a world where too many politicians succumb to the temptation of inappropriate behavior with the result that people are losing faith in those elected to office. Today, the question of principles has become even more relevant and it needs to be brought to the forefront of our debate should we want to reinforce the struggle for righteousness and for legitimacy in politics. There is a pressing need for people in Europe to win back their trust in the political system by advocating leaders who are able to serve with consideration, honesty and dignity.