'Breakthrough' agreement reached on German coalition talks

  12 January 2018    Read: 1053
'Breakthrough' agreement reached on German coalition talks
Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the centre-left Social Democrats have agreed on a paper outlining the basis for moving ahead with formal coalition talks.

The German Chancellor and the leader of the Social Democrats Martin Schulz held overnight talks at the Social Democrat headquarters in Berlin.
The 28-page paper outlined their compromise positions on a wide range of issues including taxes, migration and healthcare.

"Many, many hours of work, serious wrangling and shaping are contained in these 28 pages," tweeted CDU politician Julia Kloeckner, part of Mrs Merkel's negotiating team, on Friday morning.

Social Democrat spokesman Serkan Agci said there had been a "breakthrough" agreed upon by the party leaders but said final revisions were still being made on the document by negotiating teams, which would also need approval.

The talks follow a shock general election that in September failed to return a majority, leaving all parties with reduced vote shares and Germany without a government.

The Social Democrats initially vowed not to enter into another government with Mrs Merkel's conservatives, but reconsidered their position after the long-time Chancellor's attempts to form a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier appealed to the negotiators on Thursday to consider their responsibility towards Europe, not just their own parties and political futures.

However, there is still a long way to go before a deal is done.

The original article was published in news.sky.com.

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