The Week - - Europe At A Glance -

No quick deal: One of An­gela Merkel’s clos­est ad­vis­ers has sug­gested that it could be months, rather than weeks, be­fore the Ger­man chan­cel­lor suc­ceeds in form­ing a new coali­tion gov­ern­ment, fol­low­ing her party’s un­ex­pect­edly poor per­for­mance in last month’s gen­eral elec­tion. “Last time, we just made it by Christ­mas,” said Peter Alt­maier, Merkel’s chief of staff. “I’d like to man­age that again this time, but it’s the de­tail that mat­ters, not the date.” The only vi­able deal ap­pears to be a “Ja­maica coali­tion” of CDU/CSU, Green and Free Democrats (so-called be­cause the par­ties’ colours are black, green and yel­low, as in the Ja­maican flag). Merkel’s chal­lenge is to rec­on­cile the Greens’ pri­or­i­ties with those of the pro-busi­ness lib­er­als, while also con­tain­ing the mount­ing ten­sion be­tween her CDU and its Bavarian sis­ter party, the CSU, over the lat­ter’s call for a 200,000 an­nual cap on asy­lum seek­ers.

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