Merkel wants progress in coalition talks in 10 days

Merkel wants progress in coalition talks in 10 days
From Reuters - November 6, 2017

BERLIN (Reuters) - Immigration and climate policy are the most contentious issues in exploratory negotiations between three parties seeking to form Germanys next government, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, adding that she wants proper talks to start in 10 days.

Despite weeks of exploratory discussion, Merkels conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens remain far apart on climate, immigration and energy policy, and they disagree on where the blame lies for the lack of progress.

For me it is clear that on the subject of finances the question is how we can use the room for maneuver (in the budget) so that everybody can have their priorities implemented while at the same time ensure that we have a balanced budget, Merkel said in a video message on Facebook.

On the subject of climate protection, challenging goals for 2020 that we undertook as federal government under my leadership are not so simple to meet, she added, shortly before a meeting with other party leaders to try to nudge the talks forward.

The theme that is especially important for us is the issue of immigration and integration, she said. These will be difficult issues.

Party leaders are hoping for a sharper focus on policy detail to reinvigorate negotiations that have barely inched forward since a national election in September.

Merkel said she wanted the exploratory talks to end on Nov. 14 after which the parties can launch proper negotiations that can conclude with a coalition agreement.

The FDP and Greens blame each other for the lack of real progress.

By dragging their foot on climate protection, the FDP are playing into the hands of climate change deniers like (U.S. President Donald) Trump, Greens party chair Simone Peter told a news conference. The lack of seriousness has to stop.



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