Germany Is No Game of Thrones, Scholz Warns Coalition Rebels

(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s earnest, sober-suited finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is known more for his no-nonsense commitment to budget rigor than rhetorical flourishes.

So it came as something of a surprise on Friday when Scholz, a Social Democrat, cited HBO’s fantasy thriller “Game of Thrones” -- which chronicles violent power struggles -- in a swipe at members of his Christian Social Union coalition partner, whose challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel has sparked a government crisis.

“The task of ruling our nation is not an episode from Game of Thrones but a serious matter,” Scholz wrote on Twitter. “All those involved should never forget that.”

Merkel has refused to give way in a dispute over migration policy with the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of her Christian Democratic Union, raising the possibility of an end to her 13-year rule in Europe’s biggest economy.

The CSU wants to start turning away some refugees at the border, while Merkel says Germany shouldn’t act unilaterally. She’ll try to seek bilateral agreements with individual EU states in the next two weeks.

Scholz’s SPD barely avoided civil war within its own ranks earlier this year in reversing a decision not to join Merkel in government. The party will be keen to avoid a collapse in the coalition that would likely herald new elections.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.