German coalition faces breakup

World | 6 Dec 2017

Members of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) were yesterday arguing whether or not to renew their support for the governing coalition under the conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel.

One potential sticky point is: are migrants entitled to bring relatives into the country?

SPD's congress will later this week made the final decision whether to extend this "grand coalition" with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the two largest German political parties.

Last month Merkel tried to shore up the coalition, talking with two smaller parties but that collapsed and this has, in turn, prompted SPD leaders to reconsider going into opposition following a disastrous election defeat in September.

Governing with the CDU has remained unpopular with many SPD members, especially the youth, and their leader Martin Schulz has promised a membership ballot for the decision.

Michael Roth, a deputy foreign minister, has argued for the creation of new coalition for the sake of staying in government in order to reform the European Union. Merkel's bloc, he argued in a newspaper article, doesn't want "far-reaching institutional reform."

"Only if Germany's role as the reform motor in the EU is agreed in binding [can] a coalition succeed," he added.


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