German coalition: Merkel’s party reaches deal with Social Democratic Party : worldleaks
Posted by Press Leaks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have accepted to enter a coalition with the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), officials say. The late-night deal follow talks by SPD leaders with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and allied CSU.
Mrs Merkel could be sworn in for a third term next month if SPD members sign the deal.
The CDU/CSU fell short of an outright majority in September polls, when liberal partner the FDP won no seats.
The breakthrough came after 17 hours of tense negotiations.
The last coalition deal will now go to a ballot of SPD members to be signed off, with the result needed to be in middle of December.
Mrs Merkel is expected to present the agreement beside CSU leader Horst Seehofer and the SPD’s Sigmar Gabriel on Wednesday morning, though cabinet posts may not be announced until after the SPD vote.
Parties reached settlements on issues including a lower retirement age and alters to dual citizenship rules.
The SPD won a key demand for a nationwide minimum wage. An hourly minimum of 8.50 euros ($11.55, £7.11) will come into force in the country for the first time in 2015.
The parties also agreed that there would be no tax increases, a key demand of the CDU/CSU.
“The result is good for our country and has a conservative imprint,” said Hermann Groehe, CDU secretary general. “No new taxes and no new debts.”
Senior SPD MP Karl Lauterbach, quoted by the Associated Press news agency, said his party had “succeeded on the most important points” but would have to overcome “many reservations” among members.
“The Social Democratic signature on this coalition agreement is everywhere,” he added.
The SPD previously formed a grand coalition with the CDU/CSU in 2005-2009.
This time around, the partnership faces the twin tasks of rebalancing the eurozone’s biggest economy and winning the support of the German public to tackle the eurozone’s debt and banking problems.
At the election on 22 September, the CDU took about 41.5% of the vote, the SPD won 26%, the Greens 8.4%, and the former communist Left Party 8.6%.
The CDU’s previous coalition partner, the Free Democrats, narrowly failed to cross the 5% threshold for entering parliament.
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