German president says country faces situation not seen in decades after coalition talks fail

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany is facing an unprecedented situation after coalition talks for the new government failed.

Steinmeier said that he will be holding talks with the leaders of all parties involved in the discussions, along with German institutions. He stressed that all parties have a responsibility to try to form a government in the near future.

The Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of marathon talks shortly before midnight on Sunday, with its leader, Christian Lindner, saying there was “no common basis of trust” between the FDP, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU party, and the Greens. He said it was “better not to govern than to govern badly.”

The walkout effectively led to the breakdown of the coalition talks and a potential attempt to form a majority government.

Explaining the motives behind its walkout, the FDP pointed to what it sees as a lack of compromise from other parties on key issues including tax cuts, curbing red tape and education policy, according to the party’s negotiator, Joachim Stamp.

The current major partner of Merkel’s CDU, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), had earlier signaled it would not engage in another grand coalition. On Monday, SPD leader Martin Schuls reiterated the decison. 

 

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