Merkel Faces Make-or-Break Week in Talks to Form Government

Merkel Faces Make-or-Break Week in Talks to Form GovernmentMerkel Faces Make-or-Break Week in Talks to Form Government

German Chancellor Angela Merkel enters the final stretch of preliminary talks to form a new government on Monday as factions in the complex multi-party negotiations remain far apart on issues including migration, climate and Europe.

Entering a fifth week of exploratory negotiations between Merkel’s Christian Democrats, her Bavarian CSU sister party, the pro-market Free Democrats and the environmental Greens, the parties face a self-imposed deadline of Thursday to wrap up the talks. The Greens over the weekend warned the process could collapse, raising the prospect of an unprecedented minority government or a repeat election, Bloomberg said.

“Until now we’ve seen little movement among the others —I think it’s clear now that time is running out and we now need results,” Green co-leader Cem Oezdemir told Deutschlandfunk radio early Monday. Juergen Trittin, the veteran former Green environment minister, told Tagesspiegel that “not a single point from our 10-point plan has been implemented —for the Greens, the score is zero-to-10.”

Merkel has maintained a low profile after emerging victorious but weakened in the Sept. 24 election, focusing on forging a four-way coalition for the first time in the 68-year history of the federal republic. Although talks have made progress on education spending and digital infrastructure, the parties have struggled to find a common line on Germany’s refugee crisis and the country’s climate goals.

Party leaders on Sunday met to set the agenda for the week before meeting in smaller groups on Monday.

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