EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2005: Abstract: Brunner

November 17, 2005     [INVITATION ONLY] Consul General Hans-Jorg Brunner

Consul General Hans-Joerg Brunner
Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany
Atlanta, GA

Topic:  German-U.S. Political and Economic Relations in View of the Recent Changes in the Government in Germany.

Our distinguished ELF Speaker, the Honorable Hans-Joerg Brunner, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta offered a most-timely lecture.  He spoke about the “German-U.S. Political and Economic Relations in View of the Changes in Government in Germany.”  As it is known now, Ms. Angela Merkel became Germany's first woman chancellor on Tuesday, November 22nd, and we learned from Mr. Brunner all the intricate background of Chancellor Merkel’s rise to power on Thursday, November 17th.

Mr. Brunner started out by portraying the political climate and economic mismanagement which resulted in the downfall of the Schröder-led Red-Green coalition government.  He continued speaking about the exciting details of the political discussions between the conservative CDU and the liberal SPD which resulted in the creation of the Grand Coalition.  As expected, the Consul General offered a detailed background of Angela Merkel—a 51 year-old pastor's daughter—the first women chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, who grew up in Communist East Germany.  She is widely expected, said Brunner, to resuscitate the German economy and to cut unemployment that hit post-war highs under Schröeder.  Chancellor Merkel will likely provide a sharp break in style from the flamboyant Schröeder.  Her approach will require delicate handling of the new Grand Coalition.

Our speaker concluded that Chancellor Merkel also wants to repair relations with the United States, which were strained by Schröeder’s vocal opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq and will make great efforts to strengthen the Atlantic Alliance.

© 2006 The Radványi Chair in International Security Studies, Mississippi State University.
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