London Guardian 
June 15, 2010
German chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right coalition government looked to be close to collapse today, weakened by a string of disagreements and intense infighting over austerity cuts, policy reform and the departure of senior conservatives.
Less than eight months after it took office, the government was given only a narrow chance of running to a full term by the majority of Germans, 53% of whom said in a poll they expected it to fall.
“Either we get things sorted out in Berlin, or it will soon be the end for the coalition,” said Jorg-Uwe Hahn, head of the Hessen branch of the Free Democrats (FDP), the junior coalition allies of the Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU. Renate Künast, leader of the opposition Greens, said: “The phrase ‘new elections’ is in the head and the heart of anyone who is thinking in a politically responsible way.”
Merkel called at the weekend for the government partners to bury the hatchet over their disagreements after a week when relations reached such a low that members of her government had variously referred to each other as “wild pigs” and “gherkin troops” (rank amateurs).