German SPD chief says nonetheless "large hurdles" to clear in…

German SPD chief says nonetheless

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says coalition talks to form government are still facing "big obstacles" before a deal can be reached.

Even if the two sides decide they have the basis for coalition talks, such negotiations would require the approval of a Social Democrat congress on January 21, and the party's leadership will have to overcome strong reservations among members.

Germany's ruling conservative party CDU and the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) have reached an agreement to complete the nationwide development of a gigabit network in Germany by 2025, said German editorial network RND.

CSU chief Horst Seehofer said he was "highly satisfied" with the outcomes, adding no additional party congress for CSU is necessary to confirm its support for the Grand Coalition, the one between the Union and the SPD.

If the SPD enters the government, she said, it will be handing the main opposition role in parliament to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

He reluctantly reconsidered after Merkel's coalition talks with two smaller parties collapsed in November. Christian Lindner, the leader of the last party, a young looking middle aged narcissist, broke out of the talks, destroying Merkel's option to form the "Jamaica" coalition, named after the colors of the three political parties involved (black, green and yellow).

The plans bely fears that another "grand coalition" will muddle through for four more years as opposed to making necessary reforms.

Fiscally conservative members of Merkel's Christian Democrats are wary of France pushing Berlin into European reforms at increased cost to the German taxpayer.

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A member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as well as another lawmaker from the CDU's Bavarian sister-party CSU, Dorothee Bar, tweeted the photo of the document's cover on Friday. Her rapidly diminishing political stock threatens to leave a void not only in Germany but also across the West, just as she had emerged as the most robust internationalist counterpoint to Trump-style nativism. In the short term, Germany can wait.

September s inconclusive elections left Merkel without a majority and she has struggled to find partners to govern Europe s biggest economy.

Issues surrounding finance were emerging as key sticking points even as Germany posted sterling growth for 2017 and a record surplus. Both parties also reportedly want to transform a rescue fund that was used during the euro zone sovereign debt crises and are prepared to boost Germany's contributions to the EU.

The most controversial part of the various coalition negotiations has been refugees: not so much the premise of accepting them, but the awkward and inconsistent manner they were handled once they arrived. If that succeeds, then the parties will proceed to full-blown coalition talks.

He said the terms of the deal were "more favorable" for his vision of a reformed EU than a separate agreement that was discussed and abandoned between the Union and the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) in November a year ago.

Instead, they would aim to hit the 40 percent target in the early 2020s, the sources said, adding that both parties are still sticking to their goal of achieving a 55 percent cut in emissions by 2030.

It seems likely that Merkel, a known quantity for investors and a firmly pro-European politician, will remain chancellor.

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