Angela Merkel departs after preliminary coalition talks collapsed Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Germany’s Götterdämmerung

With the withdrawal of the Free Democrats from coalition talks, Chancellor Angela Merkel could be forced to form a minority government. That would not necessarily be a bad thing; in fact, a Merkel who can be called to account by the Bundestag may be the best alternative Germany has.

MUNICH – Germany is experiencing a political watershed. It is not just that the exit of the Free Democrats (FDP) from coalition talks has cast doubt on whether Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will remain in power. The FDP’s departure from negotiations with the CDU, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Greens marks the end of a willingness to forge stable coalition governments that has defined German politics since the last days of Konrad Adenauer’s postwar chancellorship.