Next year, Germany goes to the polls. For the first time in 15 years, Angela Merkel will not be a candidate for chancellor.
Although a leadership election is underway inside Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, all eyes are on the CDU’s Bavarian sister party and its leader Markus Söder as her likely successor.
A “shameless” self-publicist and political chameleon, Söder first rose to national prominence in 2015-17 as a conservative opponent of Merkel’s refugee policy. Yet, three years on, he has redefined himself as a Green-friendly moderate whose national popularity has soared in response to his sound pandemic management.
Who is the 53-year-old Bavarian first minister and, if he does succeed Merkel next year, what should Germany’s geopolitical partners expect? In Markus Söder: The Shadow Chancellor
(Droemer Knauer, 2020) Roman Deininger explains.
Few people know better than Deininger, a longtime political reporter for Süddeutsche Zeitung
in Munich who has been stalking this wily politician for two decades.
Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Global Advisors.