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New German parliament to cap refugee inflow & scrap tax hike - coalition roadmap
13 January 2018, 05:27 | Darnell Patrick
Agreement reached on basis for German coalition talks
The talks follow a shock general election last September that failed to return a majority, leaving the Christian Democratic Union and Social Democrats with reduced vote shares and Germany without a government. "Germany will keep its strong position in the bloc if the next Germangovernment is going to be built on this document".
Germany's ruling conservative party CDU and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) have reached an agreement to complete the nationwide development of a gigabit network in Germany by 2025, said German editorial network RND.
Merkel said at last month's European Union summit that she would develop joint positions on Europe with Macron by March. "In addition, more should be invested in apartments, in traffic and in the energy transition", she added.
Germany is expected to announce on Friday a budget surplus for 2017 that surpasses €10 billion, German media reported, putting pressure on Merkel for greater wealth redistribution in the country.
"This includes, above all, a better tax environment for innovation and investment, a new start for the financing the Energiewende, and the modernisation of the digital and the conventional infrastructure", he said.
However, SPD chief Martin Schulz, who had also initially ruled out governing under Merkel, praised the deal Friday and said the party leadership had unanimously backed the coalition blueprint. But the three parties have clashed over immigration, Europe and finance.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, her conservatives and center-left allies ended a 15-week-long political crisis and struck a deal to form a government.
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To win over the SPD, Merkel agreed to 5.95 billion euros ($7.2 billion) of investment in education, research and digitalization by 2021, expanded child care rights, and a pledge to strengthen Europe's cohesion with increased German contributions to the European Union budget.
Following a dismal result in Germany's September 24 election, the Social Democrats initially vowed not to enter into another government with Merkel's conservatives, but reconsidered their position after the long-time chancellor's attempts to form a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.
On Friday, the three leaders presented a detailed 28-page agreement that outlines the path toward another grand coalition.
Even if negotiators find a deal, it can still be torpedoed when SPD delegates and later rank-and-file members get to vote on whether the traditional labour party should once again govern in Merkel's shadow. Some SPD members are also concerned that a new grand coalition would make the AfD the main opposition party.
The hope was to form a new government "before Easter", which falls on April 1, said the CSU's Seehofer. In spite of this outcome a working coalition is still a way off.
Fiscally conservative members of Merkel's Christian Democrats are wary of France pushing Berlin into European reforms at increased cost to the German taxpayer.
Le Maire sought to play down fears of a drastic EU overhaul, saying some of Macron's more controversial plans would be discussed in due time, with tax harmonisation and a banking union first on the agenda. That means Germany is unlikely to have a new government until late March at the earliest.
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