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Merkel's conservatives, Social Democrats agree on coalition blueprint

World | Jan 12, 2018 20:28
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz, (seen beside Merkel) said today they are confident they will be able to reach agreement on a new coalition government after working through the night to conclude negotiations on a basis for how the conservative and center-left parties can govern together.
In session that started Thursday morning and lasted more than 24 hours, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the Bavarian-only Christian Social Union and the Social Democrats hammered out a 28-page document outlining their compromise positions on a wide range of issues, including taxes, migration and health care.
"I think we have achieved outstanding results,” Schulz told reporters. "For us, what we have written in this preliminary agreement is not rhetoric, we mean it very seriously.”
Schulz still faces the major hurdles of getting his party membership to approve entering formal coalition negotiations with Merkel’s conservatives, as well as any coalition agreement, but said it was a good indicator of support that his 13-member negotiating team had decided unanimously to recommend going ahead with talks.-AP

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October 2018