The dominant narrative in Germany is that the FDP has ruined the deal without need and are therefore accountable for this unprecedented situation.
Both the CDU and the Greens say that the FDP called off the talks on purpose. Indeed, the FDP head Christian Lindner, acquired a well-prepared speech when he “spontaneously” walked out.
What this narrative undoubtedly does is weaken the FDP ahead of a potential new election. Germans can’t stand irresponsible behavior.
The same is true for the Social Democratic Party (SPD). It is also blamed for not taking on its responsibility to put the “nation 1st, and the party second” in circumstances of crisis as Gerhard Schröder, the former chancellor, once said. The SPD has mentioned repeatedly that it really wants to stay in opposition and rebuild rather than join a coalition government.
Merkel, even found in her weakened position, appears to possess understood this easy truth. She said she’ll keep her assurance to perform again even in brand-new elections. And the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Community Union (CSU) – despite all the past criticism – appear to get closing the ranks around her.
Inside the CDU party, hopes are high that Germans again in insecure circumstances will support their long-time leader, rather than trying another experiment.
But another uneasy truth of the past two years is that voters are no longer easy to predict. Even if the odds look great for Merkel, brand-new elections are also a large gamble. One, she appears, to prepare yourself to take.
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