Philip Oltermann reports from Berlin:

Angela Merkel has indicated that she would rather have fresh elections than try to rule in a minority government as the collapse of German coalition talks posed the most serious threat to her power since she became chancellor more than a decade ago.

Merkel, who has headed three coalitions since 2005, said she was “very sceptical” about ruling in a minority government and suggested she would stand again as a candidate if elections were called in the new year, telling public broadcaster ARD she was “a woman who has responsibility and is prepared to take responsibility in the future”.

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