Merkel in Peril as German Coalition Talks Fail

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said talks to form a new three-way coalition government have failed, throwing the country’s leadership into turmoil. “It is a day of deep reflection on how to go forward in Germany, ” Merkel told reporters after announcing the news. “As chancellor, I will do everything to ensure that this country is well managed in the difficult weeks to come,” she said. Her comments came as the pro-business Free Democratic Party unexpectedly broke off talks with Merkel’s conservative bloc and the ecologist Greens after more than four weeks of negotiations. The breakdown of talks leaves Merkel without a majority in parliament just months after her party, the Christian Democratic Union, suffered its worst result since 1949 in the general election. Merkel can now form a minority government—which would be unprecedented in post-World War Two Germany—or the president can call snap elections. Merkel said she will remain on as acting chancellor and consult with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on how to proceed.