Those looking for proof can find it in Der Spiegel article Another U-Turn For Merkel.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has performed another big U-turn by calling for a minimum wage, which she had opposed until now. She is sharpening her party's social profile in response to the euro crisis -- and, possibly, to secure her power by preparing another 'grand coalition' with the Social Democrats.Reflections on Integrity and Core Principles
Angela Merkel has a reputation for playing the long game. But the German chancellor is no stranger to U-turns either, if it serves her political goals. There are some striking examples of Merkel vacating positions that had long been core to the agenda of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party.
Mandatory military service, that bedrock of CDU policy for decades? Merkel ditched it last year. Nuclear power? She arranged for an early exit just months after extending the lifetimes of reactors. The three-tiered system of secondary schools? A thing of the past.
And now it's the turn of social policy. At its party congress in November, the CDU plans to pass a motion that has long been the exclusive domain of the left-wing opposition parties: a minimum wage.
The new approach fits in with Merkel's drive to sharpen the CDU's social profile in response to the euro crisis , which has triggered a wave of public anger at the financial industry and concern that ordinary taxpayers are being made to foot the bill for profligate high-debt euro member states.
Together with Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen, and much to the annoyance of the center-left Social Democrats, Merkel has been wooing voters with decidedly leftist policies of late. Von der Leyen plans to give pensioners a financial boost to combat old-age poverty, she has taken on discount supermarkets that exploit temporary staff and has criticized German companies for resisting her plans for a minimum quota of women on company boards.
"The question is no longer whether we're going to have a minimum wage but how one negotiates the right level," von der Leyen said in a recent interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper published on Monday. It sounded like she had been taking lessons from SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel.
Applause From Trade Unions
The trade unions are predictably elated by Merkel's leftward shift. A general minimum wage had been expressly ruled out in the coalition agreement reached between her conservatives and their junior partner, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), after the 2009 election.
So much for agreements, integrity, and core principles. Things change of course, but core principles shouldn't, at least not on a routine basis.
With this latest U-turn, Merkel just made it perfectly clear she has no core principles, that everything is for sale, including her soul and her integrity.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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