Germany's Merkel agrees coalition deal to keep her in power

by Abel Hampton February 8, 2018, 9:23
Germany's Merkel agrees coalition deal to keep her in power

In addition to the finance ministry, the SDP would also have the labour ministries while the Christian Democrats (CDU) gets the economy and defense ministries.

Here's the problem. The deal will have to be approved by the members of the SPD.

However, any deal will still be subject to approval by the SPD's 464,000 members, who must approve it in a postal ballot before their party can move ahead and join another coalition with Merkel after serving as her junior partner from 2013.

He vowed to take the party into opposition on election night, but reversed course in November after Merkel's efforts to build a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.

The SPD's traditional left-wing youth organization, Jusos, have opposed a coalition government with the Christian Democrats, and called for reform within the party.

"I think the coalition agreement that we've assembled can be exactly this: the basis of a good and stable government that our country needs and that many in the world expect from us", Merkel told reporters.

Henrik Enderlein, a professor of political economy at the Hertie School of Governance, said on Twitter that Merkel had made "major concessions" by giving up key ministries to the SPD and the CSU.

Der Spiegel, public broadcaster ARD and the daily Bild each said the parties had ironed out their final differences and were ready to sign an agreement for Merkel's fourth term.

It's been over four months since its latest elections, and Germany finally has a government again.

SDP leader Martin Schulz said the agreement would mean a change in direction for the European Union.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are seeking to revive the "grand coalition" alliance that has governed Germany for the past four years.

Now that the participating parties have done the heavy lifting of establishing all the details of the deal, the next step is for the SPD to put the agreement to a vote among its roughly 440,000 members, which the party has said it will do within the next three weeks.

Germany has been stuck in political limbo since September's inconclusive general election saw mainstream parties bleed support to the far-right AfD, which tapped into anger over Merkel's liberal refugee policy.

An SPD push to overhaul the two-tier healthcare system also yielded results, with a new commission set to examine levelling out doctor pay under statutory and private insurance schemes.

While Merkel and the SPD are open to the French plans for deeper eurozone integration, the SPD is more enthusiastic about some of Macron's more ambitious proposals such as a joint eurozone budget and finance minister.

If the coalition comes together, the biggest opposition party will be the nationalist Alternative for Germany, which entered parliament in September after a campaign that centered on opposition to Merkel and her 2015 decision to allow in large numbers of migrants.

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