The FDP’s Lindner has been painted as the villain but the chancellor must bear some responsibility for other parties’ reluctance to work with her CDU

After exploratory talks to form Germany’s next government collapsed in dramatic fashion shortly before midnight on Sunday, the culprit was quickly found: Christian Lindner, the cocksure leader of the pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) who had staged a well-orchestrated walkout, makes an all-too convincing villain of the piece.

But in the coming weeks German media will have to ask whether the real reason for the political paralysis in Europe’s biggest economy ultimately lies with another politician: Angela Merkel, the incumbent chancellor.

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