Merkel makes major leap in German coalition talks


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made a key breakthrough in negotiations to form a governing coalition in the country after talks lasting more than 24 hours.

According to leaked negotiation papers reported by various German media (Bild), Merkel and Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democrats (SDP), agreed compromises on a number of thorny issues including the number of refugees allowed into Germany and its financial commitments to the European Union.

Germany’s two largest parties forming a government would be a repeat of the “Grand Coalition” that governed the country from 2013-2017. After September’s federal elections resulted in both parties losing seats, Schulz said he was determined to go into opposition, as the results were a rejection of the government. There is still resistance in Schulz’s party, which meets for a conference on January 21 and could derail the coalition (DPA).

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