Germany's Merkel to meet coalition leaders Tuesday as crisis looms
BERLIN (REUTERS) - Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet leaders of her coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Social Union (CSU), on Tuesday to try to resolve a crisis over the forced exit of a conservative minister.
The ouster of Hans-Peter Friedrich on Friday over his handling of confidential information about a looming inquiry into a SPD lawmaker suspected of possessing child pornography has split Merkel's two-month-old coalition just as it was trying to enact urgently needed pension and energy reforms.
Sources in Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and the SPD said on Sunday party chiefs would convene after CSU chairman Horst Seehofer rebuked the SPD for actions that forced Friedrich to resign as agriculture minister.
"The meeting had been previously scheduled and the affair will certainly be one of the topics," a party source told Reuters, adding Merkel, Seehofer and SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel would be joined by the parties' parliamentary heads.