Merkel's coalition marathon keeps Germany waiting

Merkel's coalition marathon keeps Germany waiting

NEW GOVERNMENT? German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Angela Merkel speaks to journalists as she arrives at the CDU's headquarters on November 17, 2017 in Berlin.

However, Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, said any new government needed to "strengthen Europe".

The embattled mainstream parties have also struggled to fend off the encroaching far right, which has seized on anger over a mass influx of more than one million migrants and refugees since 2015.

However, the parties managed to reach an agreement on yearly limits for refugee arrivals in Germany, according to the DPA news agency, defining the desired limit on the number of refugees coming to Germany stays within the range of 180,000-220,000 per year.

However, the SPD's youth and left-wing factions have renewed calls that the SPD should not enter into another coalition with Merkel, which had made it suffer the landslide loss in federal elections.

Speaking to reporters following 25-hour-long talks, the leaders of the three parties praised the "excellent" results, but stressed that on many points - notably migration and taxes - there is still much work to be done. If she can win him over, Schulz will still have to rally support from membership at a special party conference later this month, which would then trigger another round of coalition talks.

Merkel is optimistic about the possibility of forming a coalition with the Social Democrats. Berlin's partners are awaiting a new government to help drive forward Brexit talks, euro zone reform and European Union diplomatic initiatives.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has returned to the negotiating table, this time with SPD leader Martin Schulz.

Sunday's talks on the terms of a new "grand coalition" involve 39 negotiators (13 from each party), and will conclude with each party issuing a declaration outlining their key demands. "The world is not waiting for Germany".

Her Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Christian Social Union (CSU) Bavarian allies promised tax relief during campaigning for September's election and the initial agreement to raise the bar indicates the SPD is willing to compromise.

Should the two biggest party groups fail to agree on moving ahead, Merkel, albeit reluctantly, could try to form a minority government or accept new elections.

The party's leaders are all too familiar with each other.

As Europe's largest economy, Germany is crucial to the region's fortunes.

If this grand coalition is formed, I think it will be favorable to Europe. This week CDU/CSU and the SPD are to decide the agenda of the negotiations and possibly strike a general agreement, regarding the hot issues of immigration, taxation, the reform of the European Union and changes in social insurance coverage, with healthcare prominent in this facet.

The three parties didn't officially give up Germany's target of a 40 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 compared with 1990, which a draft earlier this week had suggested they would. The SPD will now ask members to vote on whether they want to take that step.

Merkel's bloc does not support the SPD's ideas and, in turn, proposes an increase of military spending in the framework of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states' agreement to spend 2 percent of the GDP on the military, which the SPD opposes. "So the question, for instance, will be whether she will stay for the whole term or whether she will actually build a successor and hand over to that person".

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