'Breakthrough' agreement reached on German coalition talks

Pablo Tucker
January 13, 2018

German politicians have achieved a breakthrough in talks aimed at forming a new coalition government, reported BBC News.

A blueprint for formal negotiations was agreed between Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their former coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) almost four months after elections were held September.

Speaking after marathon talks with SPD leader Schulz, Chancellor Merkel said she was now confident that Germany would find "common solutions with France" on taking Europe forward.

Mra Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, the Bavarian-only Christian Social Union and the Social Democrats produced a 28-page document outlining their compromise positions on a wide range of issues, including taxes, migration and healthcare.

He said it was a good indicator of support that his 13-member negotiating team had decided unanimously to recommend going ahead with talks.

'Breakthrough' agreement reached on German coalition talks

About 500 refugees, a lot of them from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea, live in container homes at refugee housing Am Aschenland in Neugraben, in the outskirts of Hamburg, northern Germany.

The 28-page deal was reached in a marathon negotiating session that lasted 24 hours at the end of almost a week of talks.

The prospective partners have governed Germany together for the past four years but Schulz, Merkel's defeated challenger in Germany's September 24 election, initially said after the Social Democrats crashed to a disastrous result that they would go into opposition.

"We are working seriously. on creating the conditions to be able to live well in Germany in 10 or 15 years", she said.

SPD party members still need to formally approve coalition talks before they can begin.

Merkel's conservatives had said they want to have a government in place by the end of March.

Merkel's poor showing in September's general election has left Europe's powerhouse in a state of limbo.

But he has been forced to wait for months for a concrete response from Mrs Merkel, who has come under mounting criticism at home and overseas for her plodding reaction, aggravated by her failure to form a new government.

The progress in stabilizing Germany's government propelled the euro to a three-year high versus the dollar to trade at $1.2122 as of 11:09 a.m.in Frankfurt.

The conservatives also performed poorly in the election, and the three coalition parties' support dropped by a total of almost 14 percentage points.

The parties agreed to spend more on the European Union - a long way short of Schulz's ambition to create a "United States of Europe" by 2025. The parties pledged that Germany will play an active role in the debate on the EU's future and strengthening European integration.

The preliminary deal means the parties can start negotiations on the next coalition government.

"It was clear to us from the beginning that it wouldn't be easy to carry out these exploratory talks", Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz told reporters in Berlin on Friday.

"We want to strengthen the European Union financially, so that it can better fulfill its tasks: which is why we will take this into account during the preparation of our financial framework for the upcoming years", the 28-page document, which the two parties agreed upon, said.

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