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Merkel: Still Lots of Work to Do in German Coalition Talks

Merkel: Still Lots of Work to Do in German Coalition TalksMerkel: Still Lots of Work to Do in German Coalition Talks

Chancellor Angela Merkel said her conservatives and their Social Democrat would-be German coalition partners still have a lot of work to do to overcome differences on a range of policy issues.

“There are still a whole range of points on which we are at odds,” Merkel told reporters on arrival for negotiations on Friday. “We have good will to overcome them, but there is still a lot of work ahead for us,” Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said on Friday there was no time pressure in negotiations with Merkel’s conservatives on forming a coalition, suggesting talks will run beyond an initial deadline of Sunday night.

“In a few minutes we will begin the final round of negotiations on forming a new government,” Martin Schulz said as he arrived for talks, adding that labor rights and healthcare policy continued to be sticking points in the negotiations.

He said solid progress had been made in talks and that he assumed the talks would be successful “for our country”.

German public broadcaster ARD on Thursday published its monthly Deutschlandtrend survey, showing a drop in support for Angela Merkel serving a fourth term as chancellor , DW reported.

Fifty-one percent of respondents said they looked at the prospect positively. However, six months ago support for Merkel stood at roughly 70%.

Meanwhile, Deutschlandtrend reported that 46% opposed a fourth term for Merkel.

According to the survey, 71% of respondents said they are losing patience with how long it is taking to form a government following elections in September.

The survey also showed a significant loss of support for the SPD, which had already seen historically low elections results of 20.5 percent in 2017.

If elections were held this Sunday, the SPD would receive 18% of the vote, according to the survey.

 

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