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Germany tries to get out of an unprecedented political crisis

Ⓒ AFP – Odd Andersen – | The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in the Parliament in Berlin

Germany starts consultations on Tuesday to get out of the political crossroads in which it finds itself after the failure of negotiations to form a government among conservatives, liberals and ecologists.

The president of the federal republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has the power to call new elections after dissolving Parliament, announced his intention to meet with the parties that can enter a government led by the chancellor, the conservative Angela Merkel: all except the extreme right and the radical left.

After a long interview on Monday with Merkel, Steinmeier will receive on Tuesday the leaders of the Greens, before a long-awaited interview on Wednesday with the president of his own formation, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which for the moment refuses to ally with the chancellor. Then he will meet with the liberal FDP party.

The aim is to find a way to prevent Germans from returning to the polls months after the September legislative elections. A perspective that adds to the uncertainty of a European Union weakened by the Brexit.

The worry is palpable in Germany, even more after the political earthquake that supposed the entrance of the deputies of the extreme right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Lower House of the Parliament after the elections of September.

In view of the polls, the rise of that party could be confirmed, or even increase, if early elections are called.

According to a poll conducted on Monday, 45% of Germans want to go back to the polls, compared to 27% who want a new “grand coalition” between conservatives and the SPD, and 24% who favor Merkel’s rule. in minority.

Steinmeier, who was Merkel’s foreign minister in two different periods (2005-2009 and 2013-2017), prefers to avoid holding early elections.

– Merkel candidate –

The elected parties have the “mission” of forming a government and can not give that task to the voters at the first difficulty, he argued Monday.

The first European economy and its more than 82 million inhabitants face an unprecedented crisis since Sunday, when the FDP abandoned the negotiations undertaken by the chancellor to achieve a majority alliance between its conservative side (the CDU and its Bavarian ally CSU), the Liberals and the Greens, the only possible coalition following the SPD’s decision to remain in the opposition.

Merkel does not intend to throw in the towel. On Monday, he assured the press that he will resubmit himself if early elections are held, despite criticism from the most right wing of his political family, which does not forgive him for accepting more than one million migrants in Germany. in 2015 and 2016.

After 12 years in power, the chancellor rules out forming a minority government. Germany “needs a stable government that does not have to seek a majority each time it makes a decision,” he said.

While waiting for the current situation to change, it will continue to dispatch current affairs.

The new Chamber of Deputies will meet from Tuesday to vote on the prolongation of military missions of the army abroad, in particular its intervention in the fight against the organization Islamic State (EI) in Syria and Iraq.

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