Merkel’s coalition in crisis talks after EU vote debacle

(EurActiv, 27 May 2019) German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s embattled coalition will hold crisis talks Monday (27 May) after a thumping at European polls that has reignited questions over its survival.

Voters handed her CDU party and its centre-left coalition partner SPD their worst score in European election history, while doubling support for the Greens amid rising fears over global warming.

The Greens also snatched second spot from the Social Democratic Party, coming in just behind Merkel’s centre-right alliance.

Crucially, the environmental party took more than a million votes – including many from young people – each from the SPD as well as from the CDU.

Der Spiegel said the coalition is “in danger” after Sunday’s drubbing.

“This instability can lead to a break up at any time. The CDU and SPD are deeply insecure parties. If, for example, SPD leader (Andrea) Nahles were to fall, the question of the continued existence of the coalition would immediately arise.”

The SPD, stung by a beating at general elections in 2017, had initially sought to go into opposition.

But it was reluctantly coaxed into renewing a partnership with Merkel’s centre-right alliance, and many within the party remain wary of continuing to govern in her shadow while taking the fall for any unpopular policies.

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EurActiv, 27 May 2019: Merkel’s coalition in crisis talks after EU vote debacle