Merkel faces German coalition row over childcare cash

By REUTERS
April 1, 2012 19:32

 
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BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a row in her center-right coalition over plans for payments to parents who keep their preschool children at home, after a group of influential lawmakers said the money should be spent instead on daycare centers.

The Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU), a coalition party traditionally close to the Roman Catholic church, is insisting that parents of stay-at-home toddlers be paid 150 euros a month.

But a growing number of deputies from Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), which operates in the rest of Germany, are refusing to support the plan championed by their sister party.

Merkel needs a strong showing from the CSU in Bavarian and federal elections next year if the conservative parties are to hold on to power, following a dive in support for her junior coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).

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