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French President Emmanuel Macron greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to a joint Franco-German cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, July 12, 2017 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

Will a Weakened Merkel Doom Macron’s Hopes for EU Reform?

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

Negotiations to form a coalition government in Germany broke down this week, leaving Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the country, in a state of suspended animation two months after an inconclusive general election. The possible ways forward include Merkel continuing as chancellor at the head of a minority government, or new elections. Opinion polls, however, suggest that a fresh round of voting would do nothing to significantly alter the electoral outcome or resolve the current impasse, opening what could be an extended period of political uncertainty in a country long known for its stability.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered a drop in support in September, in part due to the surprisingly strong showing of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, forcing her to seek a coalition with the market-friendly Free Democrats and the Greens. How to address the long-term challenges raised by Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to migrants and refugees in 2015 became a sticking point in the failed talks. ...

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