Angela Merkel, according to the polls, only got 35% of the vote, only one point over her social democrat opponent. This electoral failure is due to her lack of charisma and the coldness of the campaign she made. The Germans were already tired of Gerhard Schröder but they were not captivated by the terrible tax reduction plan proposed by the CDU candidate. Had the campaign lasted another week, the outgoing Chancellor would have won the elections.
However, despite her mediocre campaign, Merkel feels better and trusts in her strength. Helmut Kohl described her as “my daughter” but it was she who hastened the downfall of the CDU. Her opponents in the Christian Democrat party underestimated her. Today, Merkel leads a great coalition that should face four major challenges: to respect her electoral programme, to respect the electorate’s wish to maintain the welfare state, to keep budgetary stability despite unemployment, and to solve the problems of East Germany. It will be difficult. Merkel, in fact, wants to reduce taxes despite the high deficit. She has already increased the VAT and this will reduce consumption. The reform of the health system could break the coalition and there are no miraculous solutions for East Germany. But not everything is bad. Germany still attracts massive investments and today it does not hesitate when it has to send troops on international military operations.
It’s difficult to know what direction her foreign policy will take. As usual, she will spend some time listening to what she is told, but as soon as she learns, things are not going to be easy. However, the electorate of West Germany does not trust her too much as she comes from the East, she belongs to another culture. She does not even know who really won the1966 World Cup.

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

She has no idea who really won the 1966 World Cup”, by Michael Naumann, The Guardian, November 24, 2005.