On Wednesday morning, Wolfgang Ischinger responded to the fearful mood in German politics in light of the pending game in the US with a warning: “No need to panic” – “No need to panic,” tweeted the head of the Munich Security Conference.
Too many people in Europe had trusted the transatlantic relationship to be controlled by an autopilot, as it were, warned the former German ambassador to Washington. But this will not continue when the US election comes out.
In fact, the mood with which most German politicians saw Trump catch up on the election charts could be described as panic on the rise. Many had apparently trusted the polls, which had predicted Biden a clearer lead.
Another four years of contempt for international rules, which Germany likes to call in the same breath with autocratic states like Iran or China, are a horror scenario for the representatives of the Union, SPD, FDP, the left and the Greens. Only AfD representatives have traditionally defended the real estate magnate.
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Trump is certainly right, also regarding the attitude of the vast majority of Germans towards him: “China wants to get rid of me. Iran wants to get rid of me. Germany wants to get rid of me, ”the president said during an election campaign in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Afraid of the consequences of being stuck
Given the brief preliminary results and Trump’s announcement that he will go to court, political Berlin is preparing for a game in the US.
“I’m afraid if it is a good result there will be a very, very long discussion,” said Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) of ZDF. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sees it the same way. “We will have to adapt to an unsafe situation,” said the CDU boss at NTV.
Wants to restart transatlantic relations: Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas (SPD) Photo: dpa
A re-election of Trump, thus fear in Berlin, could kill the transatlantic defense alliance. SPD group leader Rolf Mützenich and FDP foreign politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff predicted difficult times for NATO in the ARD in this case and spoke out for strengthening Europe’s independence in this case.
[Mehr zum Thema: Szenarien für einen Wahlsieg – diese Staaten müssen Trump und Biden jetzt holen, um zu gewinnen]
Mützenich even spoke of a possible “chaos”. Left-wing politician Gregor Gysi also answered the question if he was concerned about ARD: “Best”. The foreseeable hanging portion does not suggest anything good.
CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen warned that a re-election of Trump could significantly change US foreign policy. “If NATO were to be questioned not four, but eight years, it would be something completely different,” he warned on ZDF.
“If Trump wins, the world order will fundamentally change,” Greens boss Habeck told NTV broadcaster. Europe must agree, otherwise it will no longer play a role internationally.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas (SPD) did not want to name his own favorite for the elections in an interview with Tagesspiegel last Sunday. It would be “dangerous” if the German secretary of state interfered with the Americans’ decision, he warned.
Maas then clearly praised the fundamental convictions of Biden’s foreign policy, who, like him, is committed to multilateralism, ie, wants to solve cross-border problems through close cooperation.
[Mehr zum Thema: Das US-Wahl-Ergebnis ist noch offen – doch die Spaltung steht schon fest]
On the other hand, Trump’s overt nationalism and disregard for rules and international cooperation goes against all the traditions to which German foreign policy has been committed for decades.
Few of them in Berlin are as optimistic as Ischinger
Maas explained in the interview that the German-transatlantic relationship urgently needs to be improved again. Regardless of the outcome of the US election, he will therefore propose a fresh start for relationships, a “New Deal.”
Most representatives of the federal government should be clear: only President Biden would accept this offer, but Trump would likely let the initiative come to nothing. The erosion process in German-US relations – it would probably accelerate quickly.
In Berlin there are also fears that other powers in the world could profit from an American crisis.
Johann Wadephul (CDU), foreign policy spokesman for the Union’s parliamentary group, had warned before the election that in the event of a post-election hangover or even a constitutional crisis, China might be tempted to overcome the weakness of to use its strongest international rival.
Hardly any of the German politicians who made public statements on Wednesday morning spread as much optimism as Ischinger. The ex-diplomat told ZDF, “We took it four years. We’ll get through another four years. ‘