Angela Merkel on Monday indicated that she would prefer fresh elections over a minority government as the collapse of German coalition talks posed the most serious threat to her power since she became chancellor more than a decade ago.
Merkel, who has headed three coalitions since 2005, said she was “very sceptical” about ruling in a minority government and suggested she would stand again as a candidate if elections were called in the new year, telling public broadcaster ARD she was “a woman who has responsibility and is prepared to take responsibility in the future”.
Exploratory talks to form the next German government had collapsed on Sunday night after the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of marathon negotiations with Merkel’s Christian Democrats, its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, and the Green Party.
Germany’s president had earlier urged political parties to resume efforts to a build a governing coalition following a meeting with Merkel. “I expect the parties to make the formation of a new government possible in the foreseeable future,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, adding that the parties had a responsibility that “cannot be simply given back to the voters.”