Angela Merkel's party reaches breakthrough in German coalition talks

Addis Ababa, January 12, 2018 (FBC) - Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has clinched a deal with the country's second largest political party after gruelling late-night talks, paving the way towards a new coalition government.

After more than 24 hours of talks, Merkel agreed on a 28-page blueprint for formal coalition negotiations with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Friday morning.

Merkel has been fighting to create a new governing coalition following a poor showing in last September’s general election which saw her Christian Democrat (CDU) party lose ground to the hard-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Her first attempt to build a so-called “Jamaica” coalition with the Greens and Liberals failed last December, forcing Merkel to seek a renewal of the “Grand” left-right coalition with the SPD that saw both parties sustain electoral losses at last September’s polls.

Merkel has said that the negotiations have been “tough” and that there were “big obstacles”, as the parties had to find agreement on thorny issues such as Germany’s migration policy, public finances and on Europe.

The blueprint agrees to limit family reunification for refugees, which had been a sticking point between the centre-left SPD and Merkel's conservative alliance, and to impose an upper limit of 220,000 on the number of new refugees and migrants allowed into the country each year.

Agreements have also been reached over German welfare and taxation.

Merkel has ruled with the SPD in two of her three terms in office, including in the last parliament.

Source: Telegraph

Posted by Amare Asrat