Behold, the future of Europe! Seldom were more expatriates interest in the German elections than in 2013. Who rules in Berlin has a huge influence on the economic future for the rest of Europe.
After all: The strong German economy keeps Europe going. Bailouts for southern european countries were only possible, because Germany provided finances and political support. If German voters would decide that they have spent enough on Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and Ireland – then the whole European Union would collapse.
So, German elections matter.
But who are the main players – besides Angela Merkel? And what are their ideas, plans and options for the future of Europe? From a diversity point of view, the current government looks quite attractive:
Angela Merkel (CDU) is the first female “Bundeskanzler” of Germany. She also has some minor immigrant roots: Her grandfather, Ludwig Kazmierczak, was born in Poland.
Philipp Rösler (FDP) was born in Vietnam and came as an orphan to Germany. He is now Vice Chancellor and the second most powerful man in the government. As Secretary of Commerce Rösler introduced some of the most liberal immigration rules in the world to Germany. He is also a strong supporter of the German startup scene.
Guido Westerwelle (FDP), the minister of foreign affairs is openly gay and married to a man. Quite a challenge for many more conservative countries – but something Germany can be proud of.
Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) ist the minister of finance. A prominent politician for many decades, he is disabled after a man shot him twice with a gun. He is the first disabled minister in a wheelchair.
All political parties in Germany – except the Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU) – support dual citizenship for immigrants. After Rösler liberalised immigration laws this a goal for the next 4 years – after the German elections.
These examples show one thing about Germany: Your destiny is not defined by your gender, your age, your heritage or your sexual orientation. Hardship and obstacles you will find in Europe just like everywhere else where people live – but in the end you will suceed if your will is strong.
So: Embrace the immigrant spirit!
The BBC explains the German election – in comic book style. (Video produced by Owain Rich. Courtesy of BBC)
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