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Angela Merkel's government threatened with collapse


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WestVirginiaRebel
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UK Guardian:

German chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition government looked to be close to collapse today, weakened by a string of disagreements and intense infighting over austerity cuts, policy reform and the departure of senior conservatives.

Less than eight months after it took office, the government was given only a narrow chance of running to a full term by the majority of Germans, 53% of whom said in a poll they expected it to fall.

"Either we get things sorted out in Berlin, or it will soon be the end for the coalition," said Jorg-Uwe Hahn, head of the Hessen branch of the Free Democrats (FDP), the junior coalition allies of the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU. Renate Künast, leader of the opposition Greens, said: "The phrase 'new elections' is in the head and the heart of anyone who is thinking in a politically responsible way."

Merkel called at the weekend for the government partners to bury the hatchet over their disagreements after a week when relations reached such a low that members of her government had variously referred to each other as "wild pigs" and "gherkin troops" (rank amateurs).

But much of the mistrust and anger is being directed at Merkel herself. This week's Spiegel magazine called her the Trummerfrau, a reference to German women who cleared away the rubble after second world war bombings. It painted a picture of a woman presiding over a government in ruins and used its title page to request the government in one word to "Aufhören!", or stop.

Criticised at home and abroad for mishandling the euro crisis, Merkel's latest political headache is the four-year €80bn (£67bn) austerity package passed last week in an attempt to reduce Germany's deficit. Many of Merkel's own CDU MPs fear a voter backlash after growing criticism that the cuts are socially imbalanced. Almost 80% believe the cuts to be socially unfair, while 67% want an increase in the top rate of tax, which Merkel has strongly resisted. Public anger at the package spilled over at the weekend when thousands of demonstrators took to the streets.

The package has also stoked the anger of Merkel's French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has accused the Germans of creating an atmosphere that will stifle growth in Europe at a time when it should be stimulated. Sarkozy arrived in Berlin for talks with Merkel tonight – a meeting which the German leader cancelled at the last minute a week ago, adding to speculation that relations between the two politicians are at an all-time low.
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A German government in turmoil during an economic crisis in Europe? What could go wrong?
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clearvision

We are so lucky. We have a guaranteed 3 more years. Just awful to have to redo a government ruling party midstream because they are ineffective.

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We are so lucky. We have a guaranteed 3 more years. Just awful to have to redo a government ruling party midstream because they are ineffective.

 

I think you should have used the "Sarcasm" feature for this one. I think the majority of the population would be estatic to be able to push the "reset" button on this administration.

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