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15 Jun, 2010 17:44

Merkel coalition under fire after austerity package proposed

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has taken another hit and some fear it may not last until the end of its term.

The centre-right bloc looks set to collapse, weakened by a string of disagreements and infighting.

This follows protests against a proposed hundred billion dollar austerity package.

Leaders are dealing with the fallout over the bailout for Greece and an even larger package to rescue the single currency.

The upcoming presidential election in June, after the recent resignation of the head of state, Horst Koehler, is shaping up to be a critical test for Chancellor Merkel's government.

Political analyst Christoph Horstel believes the coalition is on the brink of collapse.

“Though I presume that the package will go through – it is very clear that this coalition is very strongly damaged,” he stressed.

“Germany maybe is able to go into the negotiations, but further austerity packages will certainly not pass the population test,” Horstel said, adding “We have very powerful opposition now to this kind of austerity packages, because the poorer class is paying much more than the richer classes”.

He added that when the German Chancellor and Vice Chancellor were announcing the package, they “didn’t offer the figures to the journalists there.”

“The figures were in the internet though, but only after the conference – so nobody knew in fact how strongly the poorer masses would be involved. And this kind of method now is raising a lot of questions and, of course, opposition.”