BERLIN – Germany's ruling parties beat their wounds Monday after violence in the elections to the European Parliament and promised to improve their performance. But they offered little prospect of dramatic changes or main roles.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Union block governs Germany in an often cantankerous and unpopular "grand coalition" of what is traditionally the country's largest parties with center-left Social Democrats. On Sunday's election, both had their worst view yet in a nationwide poll, with the Social Democrats descending to the third place behind the reviving greens.
The result probably seemed to deepen the tensions in the coalition ̵
A moment's plea: Merkel's block pushed in support of making Manfred Weber, a German conservative, the next head of the European Commission, while the Social Democrats supported Dutch French carpenters.
Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles said "it is clear to everyone how serious the situation is" after her party fell to third place on Sunday, taken over by the Greens. She said the party needs to address the lack of "strategic capacity" and take "clearer positions" on issues such as climate change and labor.
How helpful it is to be seen. A social-democratic push in recent weeks for more generous low-income pensions along with comments from the leader of the party's youth wing advocating collectivization of large corporations encountered tensions in the coalition without attracting voters.
Markus Söder, the leader of the Christian social union – part of Merkel's center-right block – called on the Social Democrats to "clean up what they want."
He called for an end to periodic speech in the ranks of the Center Left for an early termination of coalition, saying that "people who only say in a relationship they prefer to move out will not succeed in the future."
Nahles said her party will now consider what it wants from a mid-term review that the coalition decided to hold on when it started in March last year.
The audit is due at some point in the fall and has only been vaguely defined so far, but has largely been regarded as something that could mean an early termination of government. The next election is currently due until the end of 2021.
Nahle's rejection of her resignation and saying, "I feel the responsibility I have, but I will take it." The leader of Merkel's CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, acknowledged making mistakes, but also made clear that she did not need cancellations.
Merkel, who handed the CDU leadership to Kramp-Karrenbauer in December and remained largely out of the election campaign, did not attend her party's press conference on Monday.
For more news from The Associated Press on the European Parliament elections, go to https://www.apnews.com/EuropeanParliament