Germany's Merkel convenes allies to restore confidence after scandal
BERLIN (REUTERS) - Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed to restore public confidence in her governing coalition at a meeting of party chiefs on Tuesday to clear the air after a scandal that poisoned the atmosphere.
Ms Merkel's right-left "grand coalition" can ill-afford distractions from its efforts to push on with complex reforms of the energy and pension systems in the European Union's largest and most prosperous economy.
Ms Merkel, Christian Social Union (CSU) leader Horst Seehofer and the Social Democrats' (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel hoped to defuse an uproar since the CSU agriculture minister had to resign over a leak about a pornography inquiry against an SPD lawmaker.
Ms Merkel, leader of the Christian Democrats (CDU), and Mr Gabriel have tried to play down the scandal involving little-known legislator Sebastian Edathy, suspected of possessing child pornography. He has left parliament, citing bad health.