Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

i Gracias, Gabo i

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, South Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

Europe

Merkel reaches coalition deal with Social Democrats

© Photo: AFP

Video by Jessica SALTZ

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-28

German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats early on Wednesday morning, two months after her conservative party won elections but fell short of a full majority.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) made a breakthrough early on Wednesday and agreed to form a “grand coalition” government.

Germany’s two biggest political forces negotiated through the night and reached a breakthrough at about 5am (4am GMT).

Two months after Merkel’s election victory and a month after coalition talks began, the agreement, if ratified, would enable her to form a government by Christmas – if the SPD gets approval from its 474,000 party members.

The outcome of the rank-and-file postal ballot remains far from certain because many SPD members reject the notion of their traditionally blue-collar party again governing in the shadow of Merkel, as it last did 2005-09.

After that uneasy political marriage, the SPD scored two humiliating electoral defeats in a row and won less than 26% against the conservatives' nearly 42% in the September 22 ballot.

Key demands: minimum wage, dual nationality

SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel, who would be Merkel's vice chancellor, hopes to convince the base of his 150-year-old party with the key concessions his team has wrested from the conservatives in recent weeks.

To avoid giving the impression that SPD chieftains are worried only about gaining prestigious ministerial posts, they have focussed on policy and reportedly plan to stay silent on who would get which portfolio in the next Merkel cabinet.

In the protracted talks, the SPD scored a major victory on its core demand, a minimum wage of 8.50 euros ($11.50) per hour from early 2015.

The move aims to narrow a wealth gap brought about by decade-old labour reforms but should also cheer critics in the US, the IMF and Europe who want the export-power to stimulate domestic demand and correct its lopsided trade balance.

The SPD also pushed through a demand for a 30% women's quota on the boards of listed companies from 2016, and an easing of a ban on dual nationality, a key demand of Germany's large Turkish immigrant community, sources said.

Both sides also agreed on pension increases to protect retirees in rapidly ageing Germany, where many elderly are growing scared of suffering poverty in old age.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-11-27

  • GERMANY

    Merkel open to coalition talks with centre-left

    Read more

  • GERMANY

    Merkel triumphs in historic elections

    Read more

  • GERMANY

    Merkel hot favourite as Germans head to the polls

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)