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German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel gives a speech during a CDU election campaign event in Osnabrueck September 13, 2013.
German Chancellor and head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel gives a speech during a CDU election campaign event in Osnabrueck September 13, 2013.
(Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

CARL MORTISHED

Merkel’s next crisis: Keeping the lights on

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The election is over for Germany, but not for Angela Merkel, the incumbent and victorious chancellor. Smiling and sipping bubbly wine, she gave the impression that the party was beginning when in fact it is her post-election hangover that is about to start – a dirty deal with a coalition partner to tackle a hidden cost. Don’t be misled; it’s not the euro zone she has to worry about. There are no serious domestic policy disputes remaining on that issue; the big debate in Germany is about energy. It is about the cost of the country’s adventurous environmental policies which have hamstrung German industry with the burden of supporting renewables while Asian factories run on cheap coal and America motors on cheap natural gas.