Combo of pictures shows Angela Merkel, now German Chancellor, pictured in (top row, L-R): 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000 and (bottom row, L-R): 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2013. Merkel, often voted Germany's most popular politician for her no-nonsense leadership style, faces elections on September 22, 2013. AFP PHOTO / GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
“In parliamentary work, ‘standstill’ may appear agonising, yet for voters it doesn’t hold any horror in times of crisis,” the late German journalist Roger Willemsen wrote after witnessing a Bundestag debate in March 2013, six months before the last general election in Germany. “The [Social Democratic] opposition may have found the government’s blockades a hard nut to crack—citizens however desire above all to maintain the status quo. For them, the inertia… isn’t an argument for voting anyone out. ‘Standstill’ simply has too good a reputation these…
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