- Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke
- Angela Merkel’s future as German chancellor looks more secure after a breakthrough in coalition talks.
- Her party and the Social Democrats reportedly struck a formal deal.
- Germany’s government has been in doubt since an inconclusive election.
- A deal will take Germany a step closer to a new government after more than four months of political uncertainty.
- Any agreement is still be subject to approval by the Social Democrats’ 464,000 members.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed on a formal coalition deal, according to local reports.
Der Spiegel and others, including Reuters, reported a breakthrough on Wednesday morning after protracted talks between the parties in recent days. A deal will take Germany a step closer to a new government after more than four months of political uncertainty.
Any agreement will still be subject to approval by the 464,000 members of the SPD, which was a junior partner in a previous coalition. The membership must give their assent before the exercise can be repeated.
According to Die Welt, the SPD will be handed the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, and labour as part of the coalition deal with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU).
Bild said Merkel’s parties will secure the economy and defence ministries, while her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer will become interior minister.
Original coalition talks in Germany collapsed in November following the country’s election in September. The SPD vowed not to enter a coalition after the collapse last year, but has since changed course and returned to the negotiating table – a decision that was unpopular with some sections of its supporters.
The CDU/CSU and SPD talks were scheduled to conclude on Sunday but dragged through to Wednesday. SPD negotiator Carsten Schneider said during the final stretch of talks that the agreement was “no masterpiece,” according to Reuters.