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Germany's Christian Democrats approve coalition deal

Germany's Christian Democrats approve coalition deal

One of the triggering points behind the recent euro rally has been the announcement of success in German coalition talks to form a grand coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Chancellor Angela Merkel's Conservatives (CDU & CSU) and the Greens.

SPD leader Martin Schulz was in Dortmund on Monday evening to appeal for backing from members in North Rhine-Westphalia, which will contribute more than a quarter of the votes to the congress.

However, Berlin accounted for a minority of the total of 600 delegates who would be asked to vote on the blueprint for talks agreed upon by SPD leaders and Merkel the previous Friday.

A rejection of talks would be a setback for both Schulz and Merkel, who has already failed to forge a coalition with two smaller parties.

Mr Schulz defended the blueprint, telling Germany's RND newspaper: "We pushed through a long list of points which will really improve people's lives" and insisting "what we did push through justifies starting coalition negotiations". He acknowledged concern within his party but added: "I'm actually optimistic that we'll get a majority for it".

The SPD suffered its worst result in decades but remained the second-largest party in parliament.

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Left Party Bundestag co-leader Sahra Wagenknecht said that "of course" she hopes for a new broad-based left-wing party.

But much of the party's membership, bruised by its disastrous showing in a September national election, oppose renewing the coalition.

"Should everything work fine we will continue", said Tiefensee, economy minister in the state of Thuringia.

Jackson Janes, president of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies in Washington, predicted that the SPD party congress would approve the start of coalition talks despite the resistance by the youth wing.

Supporters and opponents of the deal are criss-crossing the country trying to win delegates to their cause ahead of Sunday's congress. Schulz and most of the 45 members of the party's presidium back a deal. The party's 443,000 members must vote in a postal ballot to approve the final coalition deal before the SPD can agree to join a government. But, the SPD changed its stance.


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