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German election: 2 votes, many coalitions and lengthy talks

23 September 2017

That "grand coalition" of the biggest parties had a huge parliamentary majority, but the two are traditional rivals and the combination isn't popular with the parties' members.

The party's manifesto talks at length about how the topics of asylum and immigration "are characterized by an ideologically-biased climate of political correctness, accompanied by banned terms and newspeak" and how "Islam's expansion and the ever-increasing number of Muslims in the country are...a danger to our state, our society and our values".

To his point, although investment in Germany is on the rise, there have been relatively few corporate exits to date (Delivery Hero's recent IPO is an exception.) Meanwhile, the European Commission estimates that by 2020, there could be about 756,000 job vacancies for coders, engineers and tech specialists across the EU. It's also been hard for him to carve out clear differences with the conservatives.

For the German electorate, the reelection of Angela Merkel is a foregone conclusion. The right-wing party, on paper, has negligible support as of now. She pledges limited tax cuts and to keep Germany's borrowing at zero.

I think we are about to find out how well proportional representation (PR) serves Germany. All other parties say they won't work with it and AfD itself treats what it calls "the old parties" with contempt.

The hard part may be forming a new government. Meanwhile the Greens and the Left have featured little in this election, and the unpopularity of the Europhile SDP stands in stark contrast with the rise of AfD - as well as the reinvigoration of the pro-business Free Democrats Party (FDP), under the charismatic leadership of Christian Lindner. Back in the old days in East Germany, the Communists went after Social Democrats with special vigor, sending some to Siberia and putting others in camps that had recently been vacated by the actual Nazis. The party has focused on amendments to Germany's refugee policy in its election campaign. He added that "in so far as differences exist between the four parties that could become part of the government, they are a matter of details and nuances". After voters have had their say, it's down to Germany's political parties to put together a coalition to govern for the next four years. The AfD dismisses such comparisons. And the other thing is that she's never quite overcome the public backlash about her decision in 2015 to open German borders to almost a million asylum seekers and other migrants.

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Square Enix has announced that the worldwide shipments and digital sales of NieR :Automata have surpassed two million units. Although not confirmed to actually be a Nier related project, it's probably likely to try and chase the success of Nier .

But on the campaign trail the chancellor has been heckled by supporters of the far-right who chanted "Merkel must go".

"Cybersecurity is a top priority, and Chancellor [Angela] Merkel is taking it very seriously", says BSI president Arne Schonbohm.

What scares AfD's opponents most is that, like Trump's election and Brexit, they have helped push marginal, far-right factions which have previously received only minimal political support into the national spotlight. If there's another "grand coalition", a third-place finish would make it the opposition leader in the next parliament - a prospect many in Germany view with distaste.

Recommendations are circulating in social media for voters of Turkish origin living in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to cast their ballot for the Alliance of German Democrats. However, migration is still one of the issues that concerns voters most.

For Stefan Kornelius, head of foreign affairs at the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the author of a biography on Ms Merkel, the political stability of the past decade lead the left into complacency.

Through 57 questions fired off by children, many aged under 12, we learnt that Merkel's favourite animals are "hedgehogs, elephants and hares", her favourite food is "spaghetti bolognese", and her favourite hobby is "growing potatoes". "And there is someone who wants to shape the future".

German election: 2 votes, many coalitions and lengthy talks