Largest German parties agree blueprint for coalition talks after overnight 'breakthrough'

Agreement reached on basis for German coalition talks

Agreement reached on basis for German coalition talks

The political situation seems to be heading to a finish over the next couple of weeks as Merkel gets ready to start negotiations with the old SPD party. Still, Merkel is trying to gain the SPD's support.

The most controversial part of the various coalition negotiations has been refugees: not so much the premise of accepting them, but the awkward and inconsistent manner they were handled once they arrived.

In that respect, Germany was falling behind countries such as the USA, the United Kingdom and France, which all announced a reduction in tax for companies, said Eric Schweitzer, president the German industry and commerce chamber (Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer).

"Everything is working the way it's supposed to work, but it's never had to work this way", he added.

The two countries have been partial partners for years, but Angela Merkel is now putting Emmanuel Macron's plans for European Union reform at the center of her coalition talks with the social-democrat SPD. Later, all SPD members will be asked to vote on whether they are happy for their party to enter a grand coalition on the basis of outcome of negoations.

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This means that negotiators will return to the table to thrash out the fine print that will essentially determined Germany's political programme for the next four years.

The SPD's youth movement leader believes renewing an alliance with Merkel would deal a death blow to the Social Democrats, who suffered a historic low score in September's elections. Proceeding as such would mean passing major legislation - such as reforming the country's health care system - would be hard or near impossible.

"Germans have been waiting more than 100 days for a government and they've had enough", thundered the Bild tabloid, asking Dr Merkel: "Where is your plan?" And it's unclear whether Merkel would lead her party in another vote. Though, as Soraya points out, the party could stand to gain even from successful negotiations, since a coalition between Merkel's conservatives and the SDP would make the AfG "the main opposition party, which brings with it major posts within parliamentary committees and more money".

Anderson figure that if these talks fail, Merkel would "stumble along" for a couple of years before stepping aside, rather than pushing for another election.

But last September's election saw a fracturing of Germany's political landscape and steep drop in support for the mainstream parties that have dominated the country's politics since World War II.

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All right. This morning, meet the new German government. "She is under enormous pressure to somehow make this happen".

Both sides still need to come to an actual coalition agreement, which would then have to be approved in a ballot of the Social Democrats' entire membership. "We're keeping our eye on finding the right policies".

The German Chancellor and Social Democrats leader Martin Schulz held overnight talks in Berlin, during which they hammered out a 28-page paper outlining their compromise positions on issues including taxes, migration and healthcare.

"A weaker Germany...means the USA will get fewer things done and less efficiently, so that's a net negative for us", he said. The paper also calls for increased German financing for the European Union so that it can strengthen its institutions.

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