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German chancellor Angela Merkel's grand coalition is grand only in name. There is nothing left of it.

The latest polls show that even the addition of FDP would not save the coalition.

CDU/CSU + SPD + FDP would only get 43.5% of the vote.

Merkel Era Long Over

Merkel isn't running again but she is still Chancellor.

The Greens would not be willing to be a junior partner in that mess.

And support for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), CDU leader and Merkel's hand-picked replacement is waning.

France Joins Spain in Challenging Merkel

Via Eurointelligence. My additions in [ ].

The setup for CDU/CSU is even worse than it looks as explained by Eurointelligence.

The German media were surprised to see that Angela Merkel was no longer personally supporting Manfred Weber [for head of the European Commission] . They had complacently assumed that EU politics works the same way German politics works. The candidate of the largest group gets the job. This dispute is part of a broader rebellion against German domination of the EU.

What is also clear is that Merkel is no longer in command of the European Council as she was under the two previous French presidents. For now, she is keeping up her fight to save the spitzenkandidaten model [the party with the most votes wins even if it isn't a majority] as such, or at least to extract a political price.

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We noted a comment from the Spiegel correspondent in Brussels, who has been shocked to realize the brutality with which Emmanuel Macron and Pedro Sánchez killed the spitzenkandidaten model and, in his words, quickly annulled the result of the European elections.

There is a huge gap of expectations between Germany on the one side and the emerging consensus in Brussels on the other. The German media in particular clearly underestimated the push-back against Weber. And those outside Germany are also misjudging German politics.

We think that Merkel and other centre-right leaders clearly underestimated the consequences of the push-back against their candidate from other groups in the European Parliament. So, for all the jubilation about the failed insurgence of the far-right [Victor Orban in Hungary, Marine Le Pen in France, AfD in Germany], we have to wonder whether this parliament is too fragmented to act even in its own best interest.

One of the crucial shifts, below the radar screens of many political observers, has been the shift in the Spanish position, from a loyal supporter of Merkel under Mariano Rajoy to a loyal supporter of Macron under Sánchez.

Macron’s immature mockery of Jens Weidmann [head of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank] on Friday is not helping in the search for a consensus. [

Priorities and Political Realities

Weidmann a fiscal hawk, wants to become the next head of the ECB.

Given the priorities of Spain, France, and especially Italy, it would be far more prudent to have a dove at the ECB than to have Weber as European Council president.

The primary battle however, appears to be over Weber.

Perhaps France and Spain will prevail on both fronts but if not, prepare for the crisis in Italy to escalate sooner rather than later.

For discussion, please see Meet the Mini-BOT: Italy Will Break Up the Eurozone.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock