16 Nov 2021, 16:05
Benjamin Wehrmann

Parties confident to agree coalition treaty, new German government by end of November

The parties negotiating Germany’s next government coalition plan to table a coalition treaty and propose new government ministers next week. In a joint statement  by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democrats (FDP) carried by public broadcaster ARD, party representatives stopped short of announcing an exact target date and did not share information on the remaining disputes. However, they reiterated that the talks were going in the right direction. Michael Kellner, executive secretary of the Green Party, said the negotiations have been held in a “very good, very constructive and very thorough atmosphere.” Before Kellner’s statement on Tuesday, the Greens had warned that disputes particularly in climate policy continued to be significant and could potentially derail the agreed schedule. The FDP’s secretary general, Volker Wissing, said the parties would aim to fill the coalition treaty with “concrete agreements” rather than non-binding intentions. “That’s why we need time,“ Wissing said, adding he had “a good feeling” that a treaty could be agreed next week. SPD secretary general Lars Klingbeil said the talks among party leaders would now continue “open-ended” on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to ensure that the ground is prepared for an agreement before the end of the month. “We will make this happen,” Klingbeil added.
SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz on Monday said at an event organized by Süddeutsche Zeitung that the talks would be “very, very target-oriented” and that the negotiators had managed to resolve several contentious issues among them.

Germany's coalition negotiations entered a new round this week, as the remaining differences from previous discussions in 22 working groups are to be ironed out in negotiations involving the party heads. The prospective "traffic light coalition" partners, dubbed after the parties' respective colours, want to conclude discussions by the end of this month, so acting finance minister Scholz can take over from Angela Merkel (CDU) as the new chancellor and a new government can be sworn in during the week starting on 6 December.

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