Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Merkel 'prefers new vote' after talks fail

Merkel 'prefers new vote' after talks fail

The country has been plunged into its worst political crisis in years after negotiations to form the next government collapsed overnight, dealing a serious blow to Merkel and raising questions about the future of the longtime Chancellor.

Fresh elections in Germany appeared increasingly likely Monday evening after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she preferred a new vote over governing without a parliamentary majority, CNN reports. Germany's president has appealed to party leaders to reconsider after the Free Democrats walked out late last night, saying there was "no basis of trust".

Mrs Merkel said her conservatives had left "nothing untried to find a solution".

As result, an alliance led by Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and including the Greens and FDP was the only coalition option the chancellor had after September's inconclusive election.

Speaking after their meeting, Steinmeier described the situation as unprecedented in postwar Germany and urged the country's parties to work together to try to form a government.

"It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany", she said.

It has cast some doubt over whether Mrs Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader after 12 years in office, will serve a fourth term, despite winning the most seats in the September 24 election.

The key sticking points of the negotiations were the issues of migration and climate change.

She said that she "will do everything to ensure that this country is well-led through these hard weeks".

Panicking political leaders are now appealing to political parties to decide whether they can form a stable government, fearing their future as a European Union giant is under threat.

Among other things the Greens were pushing for Germany to end its use of coal and combustion engines by 2030, although they had signalled they were open to some compromise.

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