Germany's Coalition Deal: Merkel in the Balance

Crisis? What crisis? With its buoyant economy, increasing industrial output, renewed export boom and its record low unemployment, Germany looks to be getting along fine without the little matter of a government. This week, official data in Berlin showed the workshop of Europe’s economy returning to something like full speed. Output has registered its best monthly rise since 2009, while Germany’s trade surplus has widened the way it did in the days before the eurozone crisis. Now even the nearly four-month post-election absence of a government in Berlin is being dealt with, after Angela Merkel and the social democrats reached agreement on Friday morning on a programme for a new coalition government.

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