In all her campaign speeches, one thing that Angela Merkel can’t forget to tell her followers is that they live in the best Germany ever. For instance, she was recorded last year boasting to the German parliament that the country has never been better. However, people like Helmut Ritcher have other feelings about Germany. As for Helmut Ritcher, he says that he has spent the last half decade donating food to people living in Bremerhaven. He manages this through the Tafel food bank. In the past, Bremerhaven has been referred to as the poorest neighborhood in the country. He says that his organization was established over two decades ago when he would serve only 300 people. However, he says that since Angela Merkel became the German Chancellor 12 years ago, he started serving 1,500 people daily. Today, the man says that he serves over 10,885 people. At the same time, he laments that there is a waiting list of close to 120 families. Mr. Ritcher works as a volunteer and depends on his food donation and donations from the government to feed the homeless. He says that he is not sure about what the government and the politicians are up to. To many people, Germany poverty seems like an oxymoron.
Since Angela Merkel became the chancellor, studies have shown that the gap between the poor and the rich has widened. At the moment, it is estimated that close to 16 percent of people from Germany are at risk of poverty. This is in accordance to figures that were released by the government. Despite this analysis, Germany is still one of the richest nation in the world. According to the Forbes Magazine, four biggest companies in terms of revenue are from Germany. Germany also has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe that stands at 5.7 percent. It’s also one of the countries with the highest average income in the world. This has been made possible by their willingness to embrace economic reforms that were referred to as neo-liberal reforms. 15 years ago, France and Germany were at the same level in terms of economy. These reforms are attributed to keeping unemployment low, helping the economy grow and also keeping the debt crisis at a manageable level. However, there are negative impacts that come along with these policies which have subjected Angela Merkel’s government to criticism from people like Gerhard Schroder. A scholar from the University of Cologne known as Christoph Butterwegge rejects the idea that wealth is uniformly spread in Germany.