After a surprisingly manic election night the focus in Germany now shifts to the tricky task of forming a government. As Open Europe explains, many options remain possible. Merkel looks unlikely to gain a majority on her own while the FDP and AfD are certainly out of the Bundestag.
This leaves a Grand Coalition, a CDU/CSU and Greens coalition or (as a very, very longshot) some form of SPD-Greens-Die Linke (Red-Red-Green) coalition or alliance which could still mathematically have a majority.
It has become the received wisdom of Europe’s political classes: until the German general election later this month nothing much will happen – and then, hey presto, at 12.01am on September 23, the world will be a different place.
Do not get your hopes up. Rather than delivering a momentous breakthrough, opening the way for movement on the crisis still gripping Europe, I see the real gridlock starting right at that moment. Instead of looking at the impact of the German elections on Europe, we should look at the impact on Germany. On the basis of the polls, even allowing for plenty of statistical wiggle room, it is hard to conceive of a scenario in which Germany could end up with a stable government for four years. There is only one such scenario I can think of – but this is at present not considered a high-probability event.
The reason for this lies in a combination of the fiddly arithmetic of German elections and the balance of power in the Bundesrat, the upper house of parliament where the regional states are represented. Right now there are five parties in the Bundestag, the lower house. On the centre-right are the Christian Democrats of Angela Merkel, the chancellor – who sit as one group with their Bavarian sibling, the Christian Social Union – and the liberal Free Democrats; to the left are the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left party. The latest polls suggest a sixth party might also have an outside chance of joining them: the Alternative für Deutschland, the only party that favours an exit from the euro. Read More
Reliance Industries and its partner BP Plc today won approval to invest $ 3.18 billion in R-Series gas field in the flagging KG-D6 block.
RIL-BP plan to quickly bring satellite fields in the KG-D6 block to production to help reverse the decline in output.
The block oversight committee, called Management Committee (MC), headed by upstream regulator DGH, approved plans of RIL and its partners BP plc of UK and Niko Resources to produce 13-15 million standard cubic meters per day of gas for 13 years from D-34 discovery in the KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block, sources privy to the development said.
The planned output from D-34, which is estimated to hold an in-place reserve of 2.2 Trillion cubic feet, is equivalent to the combined current production from Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) gas field and MA field in the KG-D6 block.
RIL, the operator of KG-D6 block with 60 per cent interest, had on January 30 submitted the Field Development Plan (FDP) for D-34 field to DGH. Read More
Some four months ahead of Germany’s national elections, an opinion poll released Friday showed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU-FDP coalition still without a parliamentary majority to continue governing.
In the survey by the Infratest dimap institute, combined support for Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU bloc and the free-market orientated FDP stood at 45%, unchanged from the previous survey.
The other parties currently represented in parliament – the center-left SPD, the ecological Greens and the post-communist Left party – were credited with 47%, up one point.
Asked which party they would vote for if elections were to take place this Sunday, 41% in the poll backed the CDU/CSU, unchanged from the previous survey. The FDP’s share stagnated at 4% and thus below the 5% threshold for representation in parliament.
The SPD rose one point to 27%. The Greens remained at 14%. The Left was unchanged at 6%. The newly founded AfD party, which wants Germany to leave monetary union, was credited with only 2% of voter support. Read More
United Kingdom’s BP plc has relinquished, or surrendered, 12 out of the 21 oil and gas blocks where it had bought 30% stake from Reliance Industries for $7.2 billion, due to poor hydrocarbon prospects.
BP had in February, 2011 bought 30% stake in a total of 23 oil and gas blocks of RIL including the gas discovery areas of KG-D6 and NEC-25. The Cabinet had however approved of BP taking stake in 21.
RIL-BP have since then given up 12 areas.
“As part of continued evaluation of high grade the portfolio and focus our efforts, 12 of the blocks acquired were relinquished in 2012,” BP said in its annual report for 2013. Read More
– Signals Merkel Would Have To Govern With Center-Left Parties
BERLIN (MNI) – Less than five months ahead of Germany’s national elections, an opinion poll released Tuesday showed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU-FDP coalition still being without a parliamentary majority to continue governing.
In the survey by the INSA institute, combined support for Merkel’s center-right CDU/CSU bloc and the free-market orientated FDP stood at 42%, down one percentage point from the previous survey.
The other parties currently represented in parliament – the center-left SPD, the ecological Greens and the post-communist Left party – were credited with 48%, also down one point. Read More
A Parliamentary committee has pulled up the for not taking penal action against Reliance Industries for not adhering to the approved investment plan leading to fall in output at KG-D6 fields.
The Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Gas in its report tabled in Parliament on Wednesday asked the ministry to strictly monitor implementation of directions issued to RIL for reversing the trend of falling gas output from the Bay of Bengal field.
RIL’s KG-D6 field has seen output drop from 62-63 million standard cubic meters a day achieved in August 2010 to 23-24 mmscmd currently. Output as per the approved $ 8.8 billion investment plan should have been 80 mmscmd as on date.
The panel said it was “disappointed that the reply of the ministry (explaining the drop in output) does not indicate any penal action on the operator (RIL) for shortfall in achieving the field development plan (FDP) that will arrest the decline in natural gas production.” Read More
Reliance Industries has cut capital investment on the main oil and gas fields in the KG-D6 block by over $3 billion on back of an unexpected drop in reserves in an area that was once India’s most prolific.
The company has filed revised field development plans for the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) gas fields as well as D-26 MA oil and gas field – the only producing areas among a total of 19 oil and gas discoveries made in KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block. Sources said the company has scaled down capex in D1&D3 fields to USD 5.928 billion from USD 8.836 billion two-phase spending it had proposed in 2006.
RIL has already spent $5.693 billion on D1&D3 fields, that began producing gas in April 2009, and plans to invest a further $235 million in raising gas compression capacity. Read More
Germany’s Free Democrats, the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition, on Friday backed the decision by the ECB that governments first need to apply for assistance from bailout funds and agree to associated conditions before the central bank will consider intervening in their bond markets.
FDP parliamentary leader Rainer Bruederle told German ARD television in an interview that “it is right to tie [ECB action] to conditions…insofar [ECB president Mario] Draghi has indeed set a policy in motion which one can accept.”
Still, Bruederle, a former Economics Minister, added that “one must be wary that a discussion will be started to bring down public deficits by printing money.”
He stressed that “this is not the mandate of the ECB; it has solely one mandate, namely to assure the stability of our currency.”