German Parties Struggle to Reach Agreement as Deadline Nears

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 01:52:31 PM. German party leaders struggled to find common ground on key policies as a self-imposed deadline left them three days to determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel will be able to build a multi-party coalition government.
German party leaders struggled to find common ground on key policies as a self-imposed deadline left them three days to determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel will be able to build a multi-party coalition government. With Merkel’s Christian Democrats, her Bavarian allies, the pro-market Free Democrats and the environmental Greens continuing closed-door talks in Berlin, issues including transport, climate policy, migration and Europe emerged as the biggest potential stumbling blocks. All sides are under pressure to avoid a new election. “The big problems are not all off the table, so it’s going to be battled out in public as well as behind closed doors,” Michael Grosse-Broemer, the parliamentary whip for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told broadcaster Phoenix on Tuesday. While the parties had reached broad agreement in areas including education and research, it will take heavy lifting on the divisive issues to be able to form a government, he said. Final Stretch Merkel and other party leaders sat down with expert teams from various negotiating groups to disentangle differences on social, economic, transport and foreign policy on Tuesday. Leaders want to wrap up exploratory talks that may run overnight into Friday before determining that they have enough in common to forge a government. Only then will they enter official coalition talks. “We’re in the final stretch and have to see how we can reach the finish line,” Katrin Goering-Eckardt, a co-leader of the Greens,...Read more
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