Germany takes a step towards the formation of a governing coalition

Photo: Reuters/ Fabrizio Bensch
Photo: Reuters/ Fabrizio Bensch

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schultz are expected to announce “concrete results” towards a governing deal today. However, Schultz will need to first clear it with his 450,000 party members in a vote that promises to be closely fought.

Though Schultz won a major concession from the Christian Democrats, a migrant reunification policy that allows entry to 1000 family members of refugees per month, his party remains split on forming a coalition.

The SPD’s youth activist wing, JUSOS, has criticised the talks for not taking the refugee policy agreement farther and not addressing healthcare or tax reform. There has also been a noticeable increase in new membership applications, 600 in North-Rhine Westphalia and 300 in Berlin alone, instigated by JUSOS to induce a “no” vote.

Despite the SPD’s angst, negotiators will likely strike a deal. The looming SPD vote will likely help Schultz squeeze more concessions out of a weakened Merkel, whose only other option appears to be fresh elections, as they inch towards agreement.

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