Coalition talks collapse in Germany: Fresh elections?


Nearly a month after German Chancellor Angela Merkel began her fourth term in office, the talks to form a three-way coalition government broke down with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) withdrawing from negotiations with the Christian Democrats and the Greens.“Today there was no progress but rather there were setbacks because specific compromises were questioned,” the FDP’s Christian Lindner said. “It is better not to rule than to rule the wrong way. Goodbye!”

With such a political crisis, Europe’s largest economy now faces a tough choice between the formation of a minority government or the call for a new election by the president. While Ms Merkel declared that she would continue as the acting chancellor and engage in consultation with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the future course of action, it is unlikely that she will settle for a minority government. With the Social Democrats, the second biggest party in the September elections, ruling out any possibility of returning to the grand coalition, fresh elections remain the only option. However, the fears of a new election are that the pro-Nazi right-wing AfD (Alternative for Germany) would get more than 13 per cent of votes placing itself securely as the third biggest party in the Parliament.

“It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany,” Ms Merkel told reporters. “As chancellor, I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come.”



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