German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that she was ready to take her Christian Democratic (CDU) party into fresh elections after coalition talks with the Green party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) failed over the weekend. “I’m very skeptical,” about leading a minority government, Merkel told public broadcaster ZDF. The center-right politician said she was ready to lead Germany for four more years, but that she felt a majority government was necessary for stability in her country and Europe. Merkel’s statement does not necessarily mean Germany is headed for snap elections. First, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will approach other parties to see if a last-ditch coalition can be cobbled together.
In the DeutschlandTrend survey conducted for public broadcaster ARD after talks collapsed, 63 percent of respondents said they want fresh elections if a grand coalition cannot be achieved, while 23 percent backed a minority government.
Several hours ahead of Merkel’s comments, Steinmeier appeared to rule out fresh elections for now, instead emphasizing the obligation each party had to the voters to reconsider whether they might not be able to create a working majority.
“I expect the parties to make the formation of a new government possible in the foreseeable future,” Steinmeier said in a televised statement from Berlin. The parties had a responsibility that “cannot be simply given back to the voters.”