There’s a New Center of Power in Germany

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To gauge the balance of power in Angela Merkel’s new government, look at where she’s placed her top political fixer. The German chancellor has entrusted Peter Altmaier with a key mission: bulking up the Economy Ministry, traditionally a relative backwater in policy terms, and turning it into a counterweight to the powerful finance post.

As Merkel embarks on her hard-won fourth term, critics in her own party bloc still bemoan her decision to cede the Finance Ministry to the Social Democrats in a deal which helped seal their coalition. Yet it’s beginning to look like a reality she can turn to her advantage. The debt crisis that marked the peak of the Finance Ministry’s dominance over euro policy has faded. Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose decades of experience contributed to the ministry’s supremacy, has moved on to preside over the Bundestag. And with attention now shifting to trade conflicts, artificial intelligence and scrutiny of Chinese investments, Merkel has put Altmaier in charge of the themes she’s identified as critical to Germany’s future prosperity…

Read more : Bloomberg, 26.03.2018