'Big obstacles' still in way of Germany coalition deal: Merkel

 11 Jan 2018 - 12:23

'Big obstacles' still in way of Germany coalition deal: Merkel
German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel gives a statement as she arrives for talks with the leaders of the conservative CDU/CSU union and the social democratic SPD party on forming a new government on January 11, 2018 at the SPD headquarters in Berlin. / AFP / DPA / Kay Nietfeld


Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country's top parties still had "big obstacles" to surmount before reaching a new coalition deal, ahead of a final round of negotiations Thursday.

"There are still big obstacles on the path that need to be cleared," she told reporters as she arrived for talks on forming a new "grand coalition" government between her conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD).

She said her Christian Democrats would "work constructively to find the necessary compromises but we are also aware that we need to execute the right policies for our country and that is why today will be a tough day".

Moments before, SPD leader Martin Schulz also spoke of "big obstacles" as he entered his party's headquarters for the discussions expected to stretch well into the night.

He said his party was committed to ensuring that the new government for Europe's top economy committed "above all to working toward renewal of the European Union".

However, he sounded a more upbeat note than Merkel, saying there was "broad agreement on the fundamentals of European policy".

He said he was hopeful that the talks could be wrapped up Thursday night but asked the assembled journalists for "patience".

September's inconclusive elections left Merkel without a majority for a fourth term and struggling to find partners to govern with.

After Merkel's earlier attempt at forging a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed, she is now placing her hopes on renewing an alliance with the SPD.


Related News

arrow Read More
'No deal' Brexit could cost Britain about 500,000 jobs, London mayor says

 11 Jan 2018 - 11:26

Britain could lose almost 500,000 jobs and 50 billion pounds ($67.41 billion) investment over the next 12 years if it fails to agree a trade deal with the European Union, according a report commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

arrow Read More
Strike threat looms as labour talks get under way in Germany

 11 Jan 2018 - 11:02

German labour bosses and industrial employers were at loggerheads before regional wage talks begin on Thursday, amid industrial action and the threat of strikes that could halt production at hundreds of companies.

arrow Read More
Europe, Iran to back nuclear deal as Trump decision looms

 11 Jan 2018 - 8:35

Europe and Iran are to put on a united front in support of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal at talks in Brussels Thursday as Washington mulls reimposing sanctions on Tehran.