Merkel’s last chance:

The Week - - News | Europe at a glance -

Angela Merkel this week be­gan a cru­cial new round of talks to form a coali­tion gov­ern­ment and re­tain her 13-year grip on power. Her cen­trist CDU party and its Bavar­ian al­lies, the CSU, had un­til Thurs­day to find com­mon ground with the cen­tre-left SPD, led by Martin Schulz. The big­gest ob­sta­cles to a “Groko”( Grosse Koali­tion) were ex­pected to in­clude dif­fer­ences over the EU (Schulz re­cently called for the cre­ation of a United States of Europe) and im­mi­gra­tion. The SPD is lib­eral on im­mi­gra­tion, but hav­ing re­cently lost seats to the anti-im­mi­grant Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many Party, Merkel’s party had de­cided to limit the in­flux of refugees and ac­cel­er­ate deportations, while many of her al­lies in the CSU want even tougher anti-im­mi­grant mea­sures. If no coali­tion agree­ment can be reached with the SPD, Merkel will ei­ther have to try to lead a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment – or call a new gen­eral elec­tion.

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