Merkel forms coalition with Social Democrats

2013-11-27 09:23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union Party. (Johannes Eisele, AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union Party. (Johannes Eisele, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel early on Wednesday agreed to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats, negotiation sources told AFP, two months after her conservatives won elections but fell short of a full majority.

Merkel's Christian Democrats, their Bavarian allies the CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed the deal after marathon talks lasting 17 hours and were due to formally present it to a meeting of some 75 delegates from all three parties.

In the tense final round of talks, the centre-left SPD scored several key concessions, including the introduction of a national minimum wage from 2015, while Merkel stuck to her guns on her own red-line issue and blocked higher taxes for the rich.

The chancellor now hopes to be sworn in for a third term on 17 December as leader of Europe's biggest economy, but a key hurdle remains: a binding SPD membership ballot next month must still be signed off on the proposed left-right 'grand coalition'.


The outcome of the rank-and-file postal ballot remains far from certain because many SPD members reject the notion of their traditionally blue-collar party again governing in the shadow of Merkel, as it last did from 2005 to 2009.

After that uneasy political marriage, the SPD scored two humiliating electoral defeats in a row, winning less than 26% against the conservatives' nearly 42% in the 22 September ballot.

SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel, who would be Merkel's vice chancellor, hopes to convince the base of his 150-year-old party with the key concessions his team has wrested from the conservatives in recent weeks.

To avoid the impression that SPD chieftains are worried only about gaining cushy ministerial posts, they have focussed on their policy deal and reportedly plan to stay silent on who would get which portfolio in the next Merkel cabinet.

In the protracted talks, the SPD scored a major victory on its core demand, a minimum wage of €8.50 per hour from early 2015 to help the country's army of working poor.


The move aims to narrow a wealth gap brought about by decade-old labour reforms but should also cheer critics in the United States, the IMF and Europe who want the export-power to stimulate domestic demand and correct its lopsided trade balance.

The SPD also pushed through a demand for a 30% women's quota on the boards of listed companies from 2016, and an easing of a ban on dual nationality, a key demand of Germany's large Turkish immigrant community, sources said.

Both sides also agreed on pension increases to protect retirees in rapidly ageing Germany, where many elderly are growing scared of suffering poverty in high age.

Bavaria's CSU also brought home the bacon on its own pet issue, charging foreign drivers a toll for using Germany's famed autobahn highways, negotiation sources said.

In all, the additional spending and investment agreed by all sides until 2017 amounts to €23bn, reported national news agency DPA. Details of the more than 170 page coalition deal were to be presented at noon on Wednesday.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.