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Germany: Draft coalition deal to be ready next week

November 16, 2021

Germany's coalition government-in-waiting is one step closer to taking power. The general secretaries of the SPD, Greens and FDP have said a first public agreement will be ready next week.

The three general secretaries of the coalition parties: SPD's Lars Klingbeil (M), the Green's Michael Kellner (L) and the FDP's Volker Wissing (R)
The parties will continue their consultations into next week before presenting their draft agreementImage: Kay Nietfeld/dpa/picture alliance

The three parties in ongoing negotiations to form a coalition government in Germany said on Tuesday that they expect to have a draft deal ready by next week — although they refused to name a specific day.

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the business-focused Free Democrats (FDP) have been in talks since shortly after September's general election.

"We made very good progress yesterday in a constructive and good atmosphere, a bit faster than I expected, and we expect to have a draft coalition agreement next week," FDP general secretary Volker Wissing said.

The announcement comes a day after the SPD's chancellor-in-waiting, Olaf Scholz, said talks were "going very, very well."

SPD, FDP, Greens unveil COVID response

How do the different parties view the negotiations?

Wissing and his counterparts in the SPD, Lars Klingbeil, and the Greens, Michael Kellner, spoke in Berlin after consultations earlier in the day.

"We'll get it done, I'm firmly convinced of that," Klingbeil said. Kellner added that, though the progress had been faster than expected, there had been constructive deliberation.

"Thoroughness goes before speed," the Green lawmaker said.

The partners are hoping to vote in Scholz as the new chancellor — and replacement for Angela Merkel — by December 6.

The SPD and FDP will still require the green light from their party congresses, while the Greens have vowed to give every party member the vote on any possible deal.

What have the three parties agreed on so far?

Some 22 working groups met over two weeks to hash out a deal. The results of those groups were then discussed on Monday in a main negotiating session.

One of the main questions regarding the negotiations is the distribution of ministries among the three parties. None of the speakers were willing to discuss the outcome yet, and they stressed that there was still some time before the draft deal.

The consultations among the parties will continue this week and the next. However, they will not take place on Thursday as the parties will be taking part in a parliamentary session on the recent surge in coronavirus infections.

The coalition-to-be has already agreed to a series of new measures to try to curb the rising infections and hospitalizations, including introducing requirements for vaccination, recovery or a negative test for public transport.

They have also been discussing the possibility of imposing mandatory vaccination for certain facilities such as nursing homes and schools, but it could take some time to agree on the specifics for such a measure, SPD's parliamentary first secretary, Carsten Schneider, said on Tuesday.

ab/wd (EPD, Reuters, dpa, AFP)