Merkel′s conservatives and the Greens seal coalition deal in Germany′s Hesse state | News | DW | 23.12.2013
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Merkel's conservatives and the Greens seal coalition deal in Germany's Hesse state

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Green Party have signed an agreement to form a coalition in the central German state of Hesse. The deal comes three months after the state election.

The incumbent premier and head of the Christian Democrats (CDU) in Hesse, Volker Bouffier, and the outgoing Greens state boss Tarek al-Wazir signed the agreement in a ceremony in the state legislature on Monday.

The new CDU-Greens government is to officially take office after a vote in the legislature on January 18, when it is expected to re-elect Bouffier as premier. As the two parties have a combined 61 of the 110 seats in the state assembly, this is seen as a formality.

Following the signing ceremony on Monday, Bouffier described the 106-page agreement as a “very good foundation” for a successful next five years in Hesse.

Al-Wazir said the agreement, which had been reached in three weeks of negotiations between the two parties, had set out the groundwork for practical government action. At the same time, though, he warned the coalition would be judged by what it is able to accomplish.

Uneven coalition

Both state level parties approved the deal over the weekend.

The Greens, though, will be very much the junior partners in the coalition, with the much stronger CDU set to take eight of the 10 cabinet posts.

Al-Wazir, who announced last weekend that he was stepping down as leader of the Greens in Hesse, is set to take the post of Economics and Transport minister in the new government.

This is the first coalition at state level between the CDU and the Greens since the two agreed to end a similar arrangement in the city-state of Hamburg in 2010, just two years into their term.

pfd/ph (dpa, AFP)

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