German Coalition Negotiations At A Standstill
The German government’s talks to form a three way coalition may be in deadlock, as the negotiations which took place into Friday morning, still haven’t resulted in a resolution being reached by the parties. The massive differences between the parties on key issues like migration, climate, energy and financial policies are causing delays in a finalizing a deal.
“We need some sleep,” said Green leader Simone Peter after the 15-hour discussion which took place overnight. “Good morning, today it continues,” Angela Merkel said. Merkel had previously stated in an interview that the prospect of the parties putting aside their differences and working together was “a very complicated task”. Angela Merkel has also advised that she will not be attending the EU social summit in Gotherburg in order to work on salvaging a deal.
Compromises will need to be made between the parties, especially between the CSU and Greens. The Green Party has rejected the idea of a cap on asylum seekers, which is one of the CSU’s biggest priorities. The CSU are also demanding a ban on family reunification for refugees which was introduced last year.
CSU leader Horst Seehofer said on Friday morning that “We cannot accept a solution that will result in an increase in immigration and that the party would do “whatever is humanly possible to see whether a stable government is possible.”
Other issues blocking a deal being reached are climate and energy. The Greens have said that they want most of the countries coal power stations are closed down, which the other parties don’t agree with. Merkel has proposed to make reductions in the coal stations capacities by 7GW instead of the previous 5GW, but the Greens are demanding a 10 GW reduction.
The FDP and greens are both demanding an end the 5% “solidarity tax” on income, capital and businesses, which the Greens also reject. It’s estimated that the demands of all the parties would come to over €100 billion, so with only €45 billion available, the decisions of where the money should be spent have become more difficult. “I’m extremely frustrated,” FDP vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki said.
The talks began following the election on 24th September, when Merkel’s previous coalition partners chose not take part in forming a new government. The deadline for a new deal to be made had been set at 16th November, and is seems to be becoming increasingly difficult. According to CSU’s Joachim Herrmann “I don’t know if we can resolve all the discrepancies, all the disagreements,” CSU’s Joachim Herrmann said on Thursday.