How much change does Germany want?

For the first time in 16 years, Angela Merkel will no longer be German chancellor. But after all this time the Germans have not voted for radical change, commentators note with delight and amusement.

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Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Little enthusiasm for experiments

To a certain extent it doesn't matter who becomes chancellor or in which constellation, says Hospodářské noviny:

“Regardless of what kind of government is formed, it will be a transitional one that takes Germans through years of fundamental economic and technological change towards a green and digital economy. But as the election results show, Germans are not as enthusiastic about this change as one might think. It's as if the Germans are no longer happy with their tried and tested diesel cars but aren't ready to switch to an electric car yet either.”

hvg (HU) /

No demand for extremes

German democracy has passed the stress test, says Hvg:

“Germans have proven that fundamental change is also possible without extremists. ... German democracy has proven to be crisis-proof. Voters have not migrated towards the fringes but have remained within the political mainstream.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

Scoring points as the level-headed statesman

While Armin Laschet and Annalena Baerbock had to contend with waning popularity Scholz was able to smoothly take the lead, Jutarnji list comments:

“As an incumbent official (Scholz has been finance minister and vice chancellor for the last four years), the Social Democrat was just doing his job. In times of crisis such as during a pandemic or floods, it is the finance minister's job to spread encouraging news about government aid and be in the media spotlight. Week after week, this helped to increase Scholz's popularity and gave him the aura of a level-headed statesman who knows what to do at the right moment.”