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7 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Angela Merkel ready for ‘painful compromises’

AFP
Angela Merkel ready for ‘painful compromises’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for further talks to form a new government in Berlin yesterday. AFP photo

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was prepared to make “painful compromises” as she headed in a final round of talks Tuesday to seal a coalition deal for her fourth term and end months of political limbo in Europe’s top economy, reports AFP.

As negotiators from Merkel’s CDU party, her Bavarian CSU ally and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) gathered for one last push to clinch an agreement on a renewed “grand coalition”, Merkel said it was time to end the political uncertainty.

“We live in turbulent times,” she said, pointing to heavy losses in recent days on global stock markets. “We need a government that offers dependability in the interests of the people.”

Merkel said all sides would “still need to make painful compromises” to get a deal.

“I am ready to if we can ensure that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in the end,” she said.

Despite the protracted haggling—the talks were initially supposed to end at the weekend—the parties sounded upbeat on meeting Tuesday’s self-imposed deadline.

SPD chief Martin Schulz said there was “good reason to believe that we’ll reach the end today”. “I think that today will be the decisive day as to whether the three parties—CDU, CSU and SPD—will finish a joint coalition agreement on whose basis a stable government for Germany can be built,” he said.

Party sources said the main sticking points were disagreements over healthcare, labour policy and defence spending.

Merkel, in power for over 12 years, has pinned her hopes on a repeat alliance with the SPD after September’s inconclusive election left her without a ruling majority.

But commentators have already dubbed the tie-up a “coalition of losers” after both parties slumped to their worst results in decades in the polls, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) took nearly 13 percent of the vote. Merkel initially sought to form a three-way alliance with the Greens and the pro-business liberals, but those talks broke down in acrimony in November.

Faced with the option of a snap election that could further boost the AfD or the prospect of heading an unstable minority government, Merkel opted to woo back the SPD—her junior partner for two of her three terms since 2005.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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