Union and SPD Agree On New Coalition Deal
By Dominik Sauter
After weeks of negotiating the CDU/CSU and the SPD will form a Black/Red coalition
Berlin – Angela Merkel’s CDU and CSU parties have come to an agreement with the SPD about forming a new government for Germany. Both sides consider the coalition contract a huge success for their respective parties. However, some experts say that the Social Democrats are the real winners of the negotiations that have been going on for the last eight weeks. Now, the members of the SPD will have to decide whether they agree to the contract or not.
Germany is very likely to have a new government before the end of this year. On Wednesday morning, the CDU, CSU and SPD have ended their negotiations about forming a Great Coalition together, and have agreed on a 260 page contract that will be decisive for the future of the Federal Republic.
All three parties have managed to put many of their most important concepts into the deal. For the SPD, a general minimum wage was the most important issue. The coalition contract now includes a section in which all three parties have agreed on introducing a general minimum wage of €8.50 per hour, coming in 2015. The Bavarian CSU won a great deal of their votes by demanding general road charges for cars from abroad. The new government will now work out a concept for this which is in line with European laws and will not cost German car owners any more money.
Spokespersons from all three parties have pointed out that the agreement can be viewed as a success for every side of the table. After 17 hours of negotiating, Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer of the CSU was the first to step out in front of the press, when he announced: “We’ve done it.” The question whether the new government can actually be formed is now in the hands of the SPD members. The party’s chairman, Sigmar Gabriel, has announced that there will be a postal voting from all party members about the deal. “This will be done within the next two weeks”, Gabriel said.