Crisis talks as Merkel’s coalition suffers new blow

4 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

BERLIN: Parties in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government were locked in separate crisis talks on Monday, after her fragile coalition suffered a fresh body blow as the leader of junior partner SPD quit, reports AFP.

In a shock announcement, Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles said Sunday she was stepping down from her party’s top jobs following the European election drubbing late last month.

The 48-year-old’s decision left the SPD in disarray, and raised questions over the survival of Merkel’s coalition.

Whether the unhappy partnership between Merkel’s centre-right CDU-CSU alliance and the centre-left SPD can go on until the end of its term in 2021 could now hinge on Nahles’ successor.

Anxious to calm the jitters over her government, Merkel said on Sunday that it would press on and fulfil its mandate.

“What I want to say for the government is that we will continue with our work with all seriousness and with great responsibility,” the veteran leader said in a statement.

The leadership crisis at the SPD could not have come at a worse time for Merkel’s CDU, which was itself struggling to halt a haemorrhage of voters as the younger generation shuns it in droves for the Greens.