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February 17, 2014 AT 8:45 AM
The fall of a conservative minister has poisoned the atmosphere in Germany's new left-right coalition, but party leaders made clear on Monday they would not let this derail the government at a sensitive moment for its reform program. Agriculture Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich's resignation prompted tit-for-tat calls for the Social Democrats, who share power in Chancellor Angela Merkel's "grand coalition", to offer up a scalp of their own. However, analysts expect the coalition, which has a large parliamentary majority, to return to business as usual after a brief spell of shin-kicking between Merkel's conservatives, its Bavarian sister party led by Horst Seehofer and the Social Democrats of Sigmar Gabriel.