German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Zvizdic, left, address the media during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Miriam Karout)

Germany's Merkel slaps down talk of working with hard left

August 13, 2018 - 9:44 am

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has slapped down an ally's suggestion that her conservatives could work with the post-communist Left Party in the country's east, an idea that appals many on the right.

Germany's political landscape has become increasingly fragmented in recent years — particularly in the formerly communist east, where the Left Party is a major force and the far-right Alternative for Germany is at its strongest. That makes it increasingly hard to form governing coalitions, and three eastern states hold regional votes next year.

Daniel Guenther, a conservative state governor, said in a weekend newspaper interview that his party must be "pragmatic" if election results make it impossible to form a coalition without the Left Party.

Merkel said Monday that she continues to oppose working with the Left Party.

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