Germany in limbo after post-election talks fail

Germany in limbo after post-election talks fail

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempts to form government after the September 24 Federal Election, appear to have failed.

One of the crucial minor parties, the Free Democrats (FDP), has ended talks designed to form a coalition.

FDP national chairman Christian Lindner said there was no basis for trust between his party, Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), and the Greens.

In a statement uploaded to his party’s website, Mr Lindner said it was better “not to govern than to govern badly”.

Free Democrats national chairman Christian Lindner said his party would not be part of a coalition with the CDU and the Greens. (www.fdp.de)

Chancellor Merkel now has three options:

– restore the previous government’s Grand Coalition with the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD)

– form a minority government, or;

– call for new elections.

But Social Democrats leader Martin Schulz has previously stated his party will not reform the grand coalition with the CDU/CSU after their poor showing in the September poll.

Chancellor Merkel meanwhile, has appeared on television saying she would not want to form a minority government because she’d be forced to find a majority for every bill her party wanted to pass.

This would appear to leave the only available option as a new election, although the party most likely to gain from one, would be the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). They had their best ever showing in the recent election, coming out of it as the third biggest party in the Bundestag, behind the CDU and the SPD.

It was the first time since the end of WW2 that such a party has had representation in the German government.

The far right has had a good year in Europe, gaining support at the expense of the status quo in the Netherlands, France and Austria. – Scott Falconer

Related: Return of the far-right Related: Far-right tipped to win seats
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