German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling conservatives have received a welcome boost eight months before a national election.
Her party won has enough support in a state vote in Hessen to hold on to power. It means the Christian Democrat CDU will have enough seats to form a ruling coalition with their preferred partners, the FDP, Free Democrat liberals. It sends a signal to voters that a similar centre right alliance may now be possible at national level. Roland Koch had this to say: “For the CDU in Hessen and for me personally I accept the task of forming the next government for our regional state, and I promise, that we – the CDU and FDP together – will try to do that quickly so that our citizens will get an efficient government and parliament.” The centre-left SPD were the big losers with their support tumbling 13 percent in a year. With Europe’s biggest economy facing its deepest recession since the Second World war, economic issues are paramount in the minds of German voters and the Hessen vote is an early test of how they are responding in the financial crisis.