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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, December 15, 2017

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Merkel faces trouble as coalition talks set to collapse

Four parties failed to reach an agreement

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BERLIN, Germany - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is headed towards trouble as the negotiations between four parties failed to reach an agreement.

Issues related to immigration and energy were discussed during the meeting, but talks did not reach an agreement, leaving Merkel facing the possibility of a minority government.

On Sunday night, reports noted that exploratory talks to form Germany’s next coalition government were on the verge of collapse after the four parties involved missed their own deadline to resolve differences on migration and energy policy.

The German Chancellor has been trying to forge a coalition between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Green party after she won the federal elections at the end of September.

The ‘Jamaica’ coalition, which has named so because the parties’ traditional colours mirror that of the Jamaican flag, represents new ground even for Germany’s experienced leader, and has only previously been tested at regional level.

For a month now, parties have engaged in exploratory talks and Merkel has maintained a passive figure as party representatives found themselves at loggerheads over issues, including the number of migrants who entered Germany in 2015 and 2016 will be allowed to be reunited with their families.

Throughout the election period, migration has emerged as a contentious issue in Germany especially following the refugee crisis, which saw some 1.2 million migrants enter the country in 2015-2016. 

Reports in the German media have stated that the Green party over the weekend suggested a compromise in which they would agree to limit Germany’s annual intake of migrants to a benchmark figure of 200,000 – as long as other parties didn’t rule out that migrants with “subsidiary protection” status could be reunited with their families.

The countries parties have struggled to find a common ground on climate change, with the Greens calling for a reduction in coal-generated power while its potential coalition partners have expressed concerns about job losses in the energy and manufacturing sector.

The FDP leader, Christian Lindner, had earlier announced a deadline for the exploratory talks, with his deputy, Wolfgang Kubicki saying, “If we don’t work it out by 6pm on Sunday, the whole thing is dead.”

However, till 6 pm on Sunday, talks were still ongoing.

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