Merkel closer to end­ing im­passe over coali­tion

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS -

Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has taken a sig­nif­i­cant step to­wards end­ing Ger­many’s lengthy political im­passe by se­cur­ing a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment to en­ter for­mal coali­tion talks with a cen­tre-left party.

The deal was wel­comed by Ger­many’s Euro­pean al­lies, but her prospec­tive part­ner faces a tough task to sell it to scep­tics.

Ex­hausted ne­go­tia­tors from Merkel’s con­ser­va­tive Union bloc and the cen­treleft So­cial Democrats pre­sented their deal, which in­cludes pledges to strengthen the EU and keep a lid on the num­ber of mi­grants en­ter­ing Ger­many, af­ter more than 24 hours of talks to cap a week of wran­gling.

“We have achieved out­stand­ing re­sults,” said the So­cial Democrats’ leader, Martin Schulz.

But to make a new govern­ment a re­al­ity, he must per­suade a party congress on Jan­uary 21 to agree to for­mal coali­tion ne­go­ti­a­tions.

If those talks are suc­cess­ful, he must steer a coali­tion deal through a bal­lot of the full party mem­ber­ship.

Pic­ture: AP.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel.

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