Thursday, 26 April, 2018

German lawmakers reach breakthrough in talks to form a new government

German coalition talks enter crunch stage amid ongoing setbacks Exploratory coalition talks between Germany's major parties end ahead of crucial decision
Sammy Stanley | 12 January, 2018, 17:22

Merkel, Schulz and several dozen other negotiators renewed coalition talks on Sunday.

"We have realised that the world isn't waiting for us", Merkel said at a press conference on Monday morning.

A new coalition government would see Merkel at the helm of Europe's biggest economy for a fourth term in office.

The leaders also reportedly agreed to abandon the country's stated aim of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020 - though Reuters reports the blueprint "foresaw Germany generating 65 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030".

"I am quite satisfied", he said.

Merkel has already been politically weakened by leading the CDU-CSU to its worst election result since 1949, and by her failure in November to broker a coalition deal with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

Angela Merkel's conservatives reach preliminary deal with Social Democrats. The Christian Democrats and SPD have governed Germany together for eight of the past 12 years. The euro's lack of a central fiscal pot to even out recessions has been discussed as one its weaknesses.

The 39 negotiators - 13 from each party - had begun the exploratory talks last Sunday. In early London trading, the euro rallied 0.7 percent against the dollar to hit its highest levels since January 2015 at $1.212 (88 pence).

Details were expected to be released later in the morning.

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A historically poor showing for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in September's vote has left the Chancellor scrambling to hammer out an agreement with the second largest party in parliament, the center-left Social Democrats SPD.

Despite these hurdles, Merkel - obviously exhausted after a marathon overnight negotiation session - said she was "optimistic that things will move forward" to forming a new coalition government.

Angela Merkel is heading into the final day of make-or-break negotiations to determine her future as Germany's leader.

Germany now has a caretaker government, limiting Merkel's ability to launch major initiatives at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron has pressed for ambitious reforms in the European Union.

The talks are not only crucial for Merkel, but also for Schulz and the leader of Merkel s Bavarian allies, Horst Seehofer, said political analyst Karl-Rudolf Korte of Duisburg-Essen University.

"Many, many hours of painstaking work and alignment are contained in these 28 pages,"member of the Christian Democratic Union or CDU Julia Klockner said".

After more than 24 hours of talks, party chiefs and their teams reached an in-principle deal to start formal coalition talks that could lead in the coming months to a new government for the biggest European Union economy, they told AFP.

Participants have described the negotiations as "good", but SPD leaders need to convince their party members as they are offering them a vote on January 21 on whether to proceed.

If talks fail, Merkel's only remaining options will be to form a minority government or hold new elections.

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