Angela Merkel has made a lot of critical remarks about President Trump, all of which can be boiled down to, “The damn Americans aren’t giving us as much free money!”
But Merkel is now facing a crisis so huge, all the free American dollars in the world wouldn’t help.
An attempt at a new coalition government failed on Monday, leaving Chancellor Merkel – folded hands and all – to try to pick up the pieces. Germany does not currently have a fully functioning government.
Financial markets are on edge around the world, and many believe that Merkel cannot survive another election…which will now surely be necessary.
More from The Washington Post:
After a midday meeting with the chancellor, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier attempted to calm the choppy waters with a speech calling on parties to come back to the negotiating table and avoid another vote after an inconclusive September election.
“The responsibility given to the parties remains,” said Steinmeier, noting that Monday’s impasse was unprecedented in Germany’s postwar history. “One can’t just return that responsibility to the voters.”
But despite his plea, a fresh vote looked increasingly likely — a fact that Merkel acknowledged Monday evening in an interview with broadcaster ZDF.
While Merkel insisted that she would not step down, she also suggested that calling a new election would be preferable to leading a government that must survive vote-to-vote without a majority in the German parliament, the Bundestag.
The possibility was met with enthusiasm by the German far right and with apprehension across Europe, where German stability has long been taken for granted.
“After Brexit and Trump, Germans are now facing the prospect of something out of the ordinary happening in their own country,” said Sudha David-Wilp, deputy director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund. “Something that was beyond their borders is a spectacle that they will now have to deal with, too.”
The breakdown of the talks ends the assumption that Europe’s largest economy will be governed by a previously untried coalition among Merkel’s conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens.
That awkward alliance — dubbed the “Jamaica coalition” because the parties’ colors are the same as those of the island nation’s flag — was considered the only viable path to a stable government.
But after weeks of contentious negotiations over asylum, tax and environmental policies, the Free Democrats unexpectedly pulled out late Sunday, leaving Merkel with few options — none of them attractive.
Maybe Jamaica should just take over Germany. There’s no way anybody could do a worse job with its government.