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Merkel Ready for Painful Compromises to Seal Gov’t Deal

Merkel Ready for Painful Compromises to Seal Gov’t DealMerkel Ready for Painful Compromises to Seal Gov’t Deal

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

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, AFP reported.

“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 [do so] 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, labor policy and defense 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% of the vote.

 

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