Berlin Shaky coalition

Andrea Nahles, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats – the junior partner in Angela Merkel’s coalition – unexpectedly quit this week, saying she no longer commanded the support of her party following its terrible performance in the European elections. The SPD took just 15.8% of the vote, the worst poll result since the War. Her decision has plunged the future of the government itself into uncertainty. Any successor to the left of Nahles (above) could pull the plug on the SPD’s alliance with the centre-right CDU, potentially triggering fresh elections and the end of Merkel’s long chancellorship.