Germany moved a step closer to a snap election after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a government with smaller parties fell apart and the Social Democrats refused to step into the breach. Europe’s biggest economy and pre-eminent political power was plunged into deep political uncertainty late Sunday night after the collapse of exploratory talks involving Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, plus the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens. That left the Social Democrats (SPD) as the only viable junior partners who could give Merkel a parliamentary majority. But SPD leaders voted unanimously Monday not to reprise the “grand coalition” of the last four years with Merkel’s conservatives, having recorded the worst result in their history in September’s general election. An extended period of political limbo in Germany means a range of decisions on the national and EU level will be on hold — most notably on French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to overhaul the eurozone.
Unless the center-left SPD has a change of heart or Merkel can engineer a revival of the collapsed talks, she faces two unappetizing options — trying to form a minority government or accepting the country will have to vote again.
Merkel said she was skeptical about the viability of a minority administration.
“Germany needs a stable government that doesn’t need to search for a majority for every decision,” she told ZDF television. “My point of view is that new elections would be the better path,” she told another public broadcaster, ARD.
Full Article: Germany moves closer to snap election – POLITICO.