Economists voiced their concerns over the country's economy at an economic summit hosted by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. Now in its twelth year, the three-day congress holds discussions on the latest political, commercial and economic events facing the world. The motto of this year's gathering is "Building Trust," a timely theme given a rise in populism in Germany and throughout Europe.
The region has seen many voters turn away from traditional political parties towards anti-establishment movements, often with controversial policies on immigration (such as those promoted by the Alternative for Germany party) and economics (such as those from Italy's populist coalition government, made up of the right-wing Lega party and 5 Star Movement, that is currently the subject of dispute with the European Commission).
Germany itself is in disarray on the political front with Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, which has been dogged by policy disagreements and infighting since its troubled inception in March, looking increasingly fragile.
Merkel has said she will not stand for the party leadership in December and said she would not stand for election again after 2021. Meanwhile, there are rumors that Horst Seehofer, the head of her conservative partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU), could step down from the party after poor performances in recent regional elections. The Social Democratic Party's place within the coalition is also looking tenuous with voters appearing to punish it for not remaining in opposition.
Asked whether politicians in Germany were hearing the "wake-up call" from voters and whether there could even be a sudden election in Germany ahead of the scheduled one for 2021, ZEW's Wambach was neutral.
"We see instability in the political system and there is a debate over how long the government will stay together. (But) those people who are in charge at the moment, they don't benefit from any new elections," he said.