Merkel Commits to Lead Germany Through 2017 as Election Nears

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wants to govern for a full term in a continued coalition with the market-liberal Free Democratic Party if she wins federal elections in five months.

Merkel, a Christian Democrat who has governed since 2005, told Bild newspaper today that she has no plans to surrender the chancellorship halfway through a third term in 2015. Bild had reported this week that she was considering stepping down early.

“I want to continue the Christian-liberal coalition and I want to continue to work for the people of our country as chancellor for the entire next legislative period,” Merkel said in the interview, according to Bild. She declined to say whether she had plans to run for a fourth term in 2017.

With her Christian Democratic bloc leading the opposition Social Democratic Party by 10.5 percentage points to 20 percentage points, polls suggest Merkel is poised to reprise the four-year-old alliance with the Free Democrats led by Philipp Roesler or to head another so-called grand coalition with the SPD as she did in her first term from 2005 to 2009. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Sept. 22.

Merkel rejected SPD proposals for wealth taxes and an increase in the inheritance tax as a burden on a still-fragile economy. She also rejected an across-the-board minimum wage, opting for one tailored to regional and industry differences.

“Our economic development isn’t as robust as a lot of people think and it would be endangered” by ratcheting up taxes, Merkel was cited as saying in the interview.

Merkel’s CDU-led bloc had 42 percent support, while the FDP met the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament, according to a Forsa poll published in Stern magazine yesterday. The SPD trailed with 22 percent, with their Green Party allies at 15 percent. The anti-capitalist Left Party took 8 percent. Forsa polled 2,508 voters on April 8-12. The margin of error was as much as 2.5 percentage points.

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