Germany to cap refugee arrivals at about 200000 per year: Coalition paper

Germany to cap refugee arrivals at about 200000 per year: Coalition paper

Germany to cap refugee arrivals at about 200000 per year: Coalition paper

Before the two groups move to formal coalition negotiations, SPD leaders need to persuade party members to give a green light at a congress planned for January 21.

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 today.

"We Social Democrats, in our (leadership) committee, decided unanimously to recommend ... to the party congress to give the party leadership a mandate to pursue coalition negotiations to form a government", Schulz added. But both parties bled support in the September 24 election, which saw the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) enter the Bundestag (national parliament) for the first time.

In their joint blueprint, the parties agreed on key policy outlines - to join European Union partner France in a push to "strengthen and reform" the eurozone, to limit the influx of asylum seekers to Germany to around 200,000 a year, and to refrain from tax hikes given the healthy state of state coffers. They grew when her first attempt at forging a new government collapsed in November.

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Merkel, who desperately needs to form a new government to salvage her political future, had warned that it would be a "tough day" of talks. Given the enormous pressure on Ms Merkel to form a government-therefore avoiding another election where populists could make further gains-this appears more likely. Berlin's partners are awaiting a new government to help drive forward Brexit talks, euro zone reform and European Union diplomatic initiatives.

To be noted, all along the past twelve years Angela Merkel confidently held the government controls from her position in the Federal Chancellery.

Germany's information and telecom industry is the world's fifth-largest, but it lags behind transportation and logistics in terms of value added to the economy.

Lawmakers also agreed to maintain investments in transport "at least at their current level" in the paper, while Germany's federal states will receive increasing subsidies of up to 1 Euro billion per year by the end of 2021 for communal infrastructure projects. But the SPD voter base no longer supports such a coalition, or, as party member Norbert Randzio put it, "Anyone who wants a grand coalition is digging a grave for the SPD".

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A member of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as well as another lawmaker from the CDU's Bavarian sister-party CSU, Dorothee Bar, tweeted the photo of the document's cover on Friday. Chancellor Merkel has outright rejected the idea.

The party's leaders are all too familiar with each other. For decades, the center-left and center-right had enough votes to lead a two-party coalition, with the junior role generally falling to a smaller party.

"It is welcome that the goal of a United States of Europe, which sounds great and which perhaps sometime in the future can be a long-term objective, is not included in this coalition agreement", said Detlef Seif, the deputy European Union spokesman for Merkel's conservative parliamentary bloc. It remains to be seen whether that is going to happen but the market seems to be driven up by the news at this point of time.

It also made clear that they are committed to cleaner, more efficient combustion engines which may mean hardware modifications.

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"In the interest of her party's electoral strength, she should not stay in office for the entire legislative term".

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