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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 3



>> A regional election in Germany could spell double trouble for Angela Merkel and her bickering coalition. Both the Chancellor's Conservative party and her center-Left partners are expected to shed votes in the central state of Hesse on Sunday. And that's prompting the SPD to wonder if it even wants to stay hitched to Merkel or whether a shift and the rebrand make more sense.
Threats to Germany’s four-times Chancellor are piling up says Reuters Doub Busvine.>> Her Christian Democrats face heavy losses in support, polls show. And that will pile on the pressure ahead of a party conference towards the end of this year when Merkel may face a leadership challenge. Also, if her grand coalition partners in Berlin, the Social Democrats, lose heavily, that could blow up the grand coalition that rules Germany at federal level.
That, say senior Merkel aides, could trigger early general elections.>> Enter the smaller parties, getting ready to mop up those votes. The far-Right AFD could make a strong showing and enter the state legislature for the first time. And then, there are the Greens, vying for second place in Hesse as the self-styled party of reason.
>> The Greens are on a roll. They doubled support in Bavaria two weeks ago. And they're poised to become the kingmakers in Hesse. The difference here is that they have been in government, they have a charismatic leader if the form of Tarek al-Wazir, and they have a track record to go on.
Polls show that it will be very difficult to form a coalition in future without the involvement of the Greens.>> Merkel's party has warned the SPD that breaking up the government could spark a general election, uneasy bedfellows they may be. But polls show a snap election would hurt the two ruling parties the most.