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When a Pillar of European Stability Crumbles

Nov 20, 2017 | 19:51 GMT
Germany's role as the beacon of political stability and predictability in Europe is now in doubt. Negotiations to form a government collapsed Nov. 19 after the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) left the coalition talks, opening a period of prolonged political uncertainty in the process.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves the presidential residence Bellevue Castle in Berlin where she met German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Nov. 20, 2017 after coalition talks failed overnight. Merkel was left battling for political survival after high-stakes talks to form a new government collapsed, plunging Germany into a crisis that could trigger fresh elections. Now, German parties and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier must decide what to do next. The rest of Europe will be watching as well, waiting for a new government to be appointed in Berlin to resume talks about the future of the European Union.

(ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany's role as the beacon of political stability and predictability in Europe is now in doubt. Negotiations to form a government collapsed Nov. 19 after the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) left coalition talks, opening a period of prolonged political uncertainty. For weeks, the FDP, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the environmentalist Green party have negotiated over controversial issues such as migration, the environment, and taxes to avoid this scenario. Now, German parties and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier must decide what to do next. The rest of Europe will be watching as well, waiting for a new government to be appointed in Berlin before it can resume talks about the future of the European Union....

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