(Berlin breakthrough) Deal for coalition talks outlined in 28-page paperWorld | 12 Jan 2018 8:34 pm
After the week of negotiations and the overnight session, an obviously tired German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that she too was now "optimistic that things will move forward” to forming a new coalition government.
"We are working seriously ... on creating the conditions to be able to live well in Germany in 10 or 15 years,” she said. (Pictured, Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, left, and Social Democratic Party chairman Martin Schulz, today).
"We dealt with questions of investment for the future,” she added, pointing to education, digitalization, energy and construction as major issues.
Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union, added that if the Social Democrats give the green light, an agreement may be able to be reached before Easter with the current momentum.
"If we succeed, these could be four very, very good years — I am already speaking of these years because I believe we will succeed,” Seehofer said.
Today's joint leadership news conference took place at SPD headquarters, Deutsche Welle reported. The draft policy document — texted by potential coalition intermediaries meeting overnight at SPD party headquarters in Berlin — spanned 28 pages, reported DPA.
Had the talks failed, Merkel’s only options would have been to form a minority government or hold new elections. Despite the challenges ahead, the news buoyed markets and sent the euro to a three-year high of US$1.2138.
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. There still remains much resistance to it within the party’s membership, however.-AP