German FDP Party Slams Merkel’s Bloc Over Coalition Talks Leak
(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s Free Democrats criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives after details of confidential talks were leaked to the press, heightening tensions that could complicate the bloc’s efforts to form a governing alliance.
After exploratory discussions between the FDP and Merkel’s CDU/CSU on Sunday, comments from the closed-door talks made it into the media. That prompted Johannes Vogel, a deputy FDP chairman, to complain on Twitter.
“That gets noticed -- and it’s annoying,” Vogel said in the post, which was retweeted by FDP chief Christian Lindner.
In a story in Bild newspaper on Monday, Lindner and other FDP leaders are portrayed as arguing in favor of a conservative-led coalition, and putting pressure on the pro-business party’s traditional ally to get the Greens on board.
A delegation led by Armin Laschet, the embattled chancellor candidate for Merkel’s bloc, will meet with the Greens later on Tuesday in Berlin. Party officials are due to make statements at around 1:30 p.m. local time.
The conservatives are struggling to maintain their chances of leading Germany’s next government. Infighting is rife after the bloc slumped to its worst-ever result in the Sept. 26 election -- coming in second to the Social Democrats, who also held talks with the Greens and the FDP on Sunday.
After leading his party to a narrow comeback victory, SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz remains well placed to lead the next government.
The apparent leak also caused frustration within the CDU’s ranks. Karin Prien, one of Laschet’s advisers during the campaign, called it “wretched.”
“Anyone who now breaks confidentiality intentionally acts irresponsibly and loses all legitimacy to speak for the CDU,” she said on Twitter.
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