Merkel: Germany may not agree on new coalition until next year

By REUTERS
October 10, 2017 16:11
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BERLIN - Germany may need to wait until next year for a new government as the three blocs trying to form an alliance are so far apart they need a detailed coalition deal, a senior Bavarian ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Reuters.

Alexander Dobrindt, parliamentary floor leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), said a coalition agreement would have to be more detailed than the one that accompanied the Grand Coalition in the last parliament.

Merkel, humbled in last month's national election by a surging far-right, is trying to broker a three-way coalition of her conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens - a combination previously untested at federal level.

The task is further complicated by the fact that Merkel's conservative bloc compromises her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and CSU, whose alliance has been strained by her open-door migrants policy.

The conservative allies removed one obstacle to forming a new coalition on Sunday by agreeing a limit on the number of migrants arriving in Germany. But Dobrindt of the CSU said in an interview with Reuters television that securing a three-way alliance would be hard.

"As we know that the points that separate us outweigh those we have in common, one can have doubts about whether a coalition agreement is possible this year," Dobrindt said.

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