Angela Merkel's party, others strike coalition deal

DAX Index Daily Fundamental Forecast – January 8, 2018

Exhausted negotiators from Merkel's conservative Union bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats have finally presented their deal after more than 24 hours of non-stop talks to cap a week of wrangling.

Moments before, SPD leader Martin Schulz also spoke of "big obstacles" as he entered his party's headquarters for the discussions expected to stretch well into the night.

Schulz said the SPD would only agree to form a coalition if it was sure such a government would strengthen Europe, adding that his party would make suggestions on how to do that during Thursday's talks.

The Social Democrats initially vowed not to form a government with Mrs Merkel's conservatives, but reconsidered their position after the long-time Chancellor's attempts to form a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.

Mrs Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) both suffered their worst national results for more than 50 years. "That's why I think we have a good chance", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has returned to the negotiating table, this time with SPD leader Martin Schulz. That decision was popular with members. Still, both the Christian parties and the socialists appear to prefer it, than calling a new legislative election or letting Merkel form a minority government, supported only by the two Christians.

In a 28-page policy document agreed after all-night talks between the German parties, they backed the idea of an "investment budget" for the single currency bloc.

"Yesterday, we worked very factually and we did well", said Julia Kloeckner, a senior member of the CDU.

Seehofer's CSU, which has taken a hard line on migration, has sought to reinforce its law-and-order profile in the face of a challenge from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which entered parliament for the first time in September. And there will be a 1,000-per-month limit on the number of close relatives allowed to join migrants in Germany who have a status below full asylum.

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Merkel now has what many regard as a last shot to cobble together a coalition and ward off an embarrassing electoral do-over that could see her lose her grip on power. The leader of that social-democratic party, the horrendous Martin Schulz, said at the end of past year that he hoped for a "United States of Europe".

Until now the CDU/CSU has opposed key SPD proposals: to raise the top tax rate, merge private and public healthcare, and reinstate provisions for some refugees to bring over their families.

This is a solution which, according to Mrs Merkel, is what most people want. They feared of the party being further minimalized under the Union.

France and Germany are making plans to further strengthen their partnership in an attempt to once and for all dominate European Union politics.

Germany now has a caretaker government, limiting Merkel's ability to launch major initiatives at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron has pressed for ambitious reforms in the European Union. "We're keeping our eye on finding the right policies". Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria, which holds the rotating European presidency, said he hoped "that this process will come to an end soon because it will be for the benefit of all".

"I am very satisfied with the content", Juncker told a press conference in Bulgaria on Friday, describing the deal's section on the future of the European Union as a "very significant, positive, constructive, forward-looking, purposeful contribution".

Business leaders said that with the compromise paper, the probability of Germany finally getting a new government has risen, which was important for business as it would put an end to the ongoing uncertainty in Berlin.

Recent polls suggest another ballot would result in a similar outcome. Politicians of the Green Party admitted that they also considered bailing on the talks over the chancellor's attitude.

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