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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners gave her conservatives until next year to deliver more policy results, threatening to end their alliance if there is no improvement after both parties suffered in a regional election on Sunday. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) came home first in the election in the western state of Hesse, but polled just 27.2 percent of the vote, projections for broadcaster ZDF based on preliminary results showed.

This is how the media reported and commented on Hesse’s results:
Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government was always a fragile construction. In the wake of Sunday’s election in the central region of Hesse, its odds of surviving a full term have shortened dramatically. Financial Times 

This weekend, as the world mourned the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, USA, Germany’s right-wing nationalist AfD party gained entry to the last state parliament where they lacked representation. More than 12 percent of the electorate voted for them in the state of Hesse, home to Germany’s banking and economic hub, where salaries are the highest in the country and unemployment has been falling for years.  DW

“Wir haben nicht nur keinen Rückenwind aus Berlin erhalten, sondern wir hatten regelmäßig Sturmböen im Gesicht”, sagt SPD-Spitzenkandidat Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel. Bei seinem Widersacher Bouffier klingt das so: “Die Botschaft, die man von Hessen natürlich nach Berlin geben kann und muss: Die Menschen möchten weniger Streit, sie möchten sachorientierte Arbeit.” Harte Worte sind das Richtung Berliner GroKo. Aber wer beispielsweise CDU-Generalsekretärin Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer zuhört, als sie gegen halb sieben vor die Journalisten tritt, hört keine Widerworte. Sondern eher eine Art Eingeständnis. Es könne nur eine Schlussfolgerung aus dem hessischen CDU-Absturz geben, sagt sie: Die Koalition müsse “besser werden”. SPD-Chefin Andrea Nahles, die sich am Abend im Willy-Brandt-Haus äußert, sagt: “Zu den Verlusten der SPD in Hessen hat die Bundespolitik erheblich beigetragen” – der Zustand der Regierung sei “nicht akzeptabel”.  Der Spiegel 

Germany’s ruling parties are reeling from their second electoral upset in a fortnight, after voters in a key state abandoned them in droves. The result in the central state of Hesse could plunge both parties of Angela Merkel’s coalition government into renewed crises. Early results from a regional election seen as decisive for the future of Germany’s increasingly wobbly coalition showed Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) slumping to 28%, the party’s worst showing in the state since 1966 and a drop of 10 percentage points since Hesse last went to the polls in 2013. Yet the CDU was at pains to present the result as a success. If the result stands, the state’s CDU-Green coalition could scrape a majority, putting an end to speculation over the future of the CDU state premier and close Merkel ally, Volker Bouffier. With tensions running high in the CDU, some members have implied that if Bouffier falls, Merkel may struggle when she stands for re-election as party leader at its conference in December. The Guardian

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