'Breakthrough' agreement reached on German coalition talks

Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz speaks during a press conference after exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government at the SPD headquarters in Berlin Germany

Merkel struck a deal with the Social Democrats on Friday to open coalition talks after months of uncertainty about her political future.

German Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz said his party's leaders agreed unanimously on Friday to recommend to party delegates that they give them a mandate to pursue coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

Kevin Kuehnert, head of the Jusos youth branch of the SPD, told broadcaster ARD that a deal among coalition negotiators to drop Carbon dioxide emissions goals "was not a good start to these talks".

"Many, many hours of work, serious wrangling and shaping are contained in these 28 pages", tweeted CDU lawmaker Julia Kloeckner, part of Merkel's negotiating team.

After more than 24 hours of talks and months of political paralysis, red-eyed party chiefs and their negotiating teams reached an in-principle agreement to start formal coalition talks that could lead in coming months to a new government for the biggest European Union economy. And talks with two smaller parties, the ecologically focused Greens and the pro-civil liberties Liberals, fell apart late a year ago.

However, the parties managed to reach an agreement on yearly limits for refugee arrivals in Germany, according to the DPA news agency, defining the desired limit on the number of refugees coming to Germany stays within the range of 180,000-220,000 per year. Still, Merkel is trying to gain the SPD's support.

The agreement calls for parliament to pass a law by the end of July allowing 1,000 family members per month to come to Germany.

Seeking to push its social welfare agenda, the SPD is demanding greater relief for the lower and middle income brackets while seeking tax hikes for top earners.

He said the proposals represented a "minimum" of possible steps and urged more definite proposals on areas such as the digital economy.

Strengthening the Franco-German relationship will be good.

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"We need more Europe and from what I saw of the provisional deal it acknowledges that".

The document stipulates that the European Union must play a leading worldwide role in climate protection and advocate an ambitious implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

And what Schulz wants is. what French President Macron wants: "more "investments" in the eurozone and the creation of a 'Transfer Union".

"Although it's often that ambition is very strong and when it comes to details there are huge differences between France and Germany".

In a webcast press conference on Friday, SPD leader Martin Schulz lauded the compromise paper as an "excellent result" for his party.

Ms. Merkel's only other option is to rule as a minority government, which would mean building coalitions on the fly, behind every new piece of legislation, always worrying about an insurrection.

"I am very satisfied with the content", Juncker told a press conference in Bulgaria on Friday, describing the deal's section on the future of the European Union as a "very significant, positive, constructive, forward-looking, purposeful contribution".

"Although I have to say, with the the exception of a small group of people around the president - and the president himself - the rest of Washington seems to by trying desperately to maintain relations with Europe and Germany on an even keel", he said.

But talk of crisis and Mrs Merkel's political demise - from some global media - has been overblown.

If there now has to be a new election, her position as the unassailable, undisputed leader of Germany, will be precarious.


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