German coalition talks fail, Merkel fourth term in doubt
The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) unexpectedly pulled out after more than four weeks of negotiations with Merkel’s conservative bloc and the ecologist Greens, citing irreconcilable differences.
The euro hit a two-month low against the yen soon after FDP leader Christian Lindner said on Sunday that his party was withdrawing as the three would-be partners could not find common ground on key issues.
A tired-looking Merkel said she would stay on as acting chancellor and would consult with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on how to move forward, adding that a deal had been within reach.
“It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany,” Merkel told reporters. “As chancellor, I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come.” ■