SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel presents 6-point program to coalition partners | News | DW | 11.09.2016
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SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel presents 6-point program to coalition partners

Gabriel's 6-point program appeared in a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavaria's state premier, Horst Seehofer. It was published as the leaders met to discuss plans and issues including migration.

Published in the Sunday edition of the "Bild" newspaper, Vice Chancellor Gabriel's letter outlined six points he believed the coalition should work through in the coming weeks.

Gabriel, who is also Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, proposed taking a rapid Cabinet decision on the law concerning equal pay for men and women, reaching swift agreement on inheritance tax reform, closing the pensions gap between former East and West German states, introducing a means-tested supplementary pension, reorganizing financial relations between states and federal authorities, and reforming rent laws.

The SPD chairman was due to meet Merkel and Seehofer, who is also the head of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU), on Sunday.

Merkel and Seehofer were scheduled to meet at midday, with Gabriel joining them an hour later.

Discussing differences

While Gabriel has made his proposals public, the main points at issue between the coalition partners concern the management of migration and asylum applications in Germany.

Ahead of the talks, leaders of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had called on Seehofer's CSU to stop their attacks on the chancellor. "Nothing hurts the CDU and CSU as much as a quarrel between the Union partners," CDU leader Thomas Strobl said in a media interview. "Bogus debates on side issues are like grist to the AfD mill," he said in reference to the right-wing, populist party which attracted many votes in the state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

shs/jm (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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