German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Social Union/Christian Democratic Union (CSU/CDU) will be willing to compromise further on climate change policies in order to broker a coalition formation deal with the Greens, a party spokesperson has revealed.
To date, despite the passing of an earlier self-imposed deadline, the three parties compromising the coalition talks — the CSU/CDU, the Greens, and the Free Democrats (FDP) — have been unable to come to terms on climate change and immigration policies.
Despite the passing of the earlier self-imposed deadline, though, talks are ongoing — and it seems fairly likely a deal will eventually be made considering the CSU/CDU aversion to new elections (there’s a real possibility that the party’s position would further erode, with Alternative for Germany [AfD] being the likely beneficiary.)
The sticking point as regards climate change policies is mostly that, despite PR talk from Angela Merkel to the contrary, the CSU/CDU is still fairly pro-coal — the talk from the Greens concerning the rapid phaseout of coal-fired power plants hasn’t been well received.
Reuters provides more: “Merkel has been forced to explore the tricky option of a three-way ‘Jamaica coalition’ — so-called because the parties’ colors match the island nation’s flag — after her camp lost votes to the far right.
“The smaller parties are under pressure from their rank-and-file supporters not to give ground as they haggle over concessions needed for a government program. … The Greens fear giving way on their demand to close down 10 gigawatts (GW) of polluting coal-fired power stations would alienate their voters. They rejected Merkel’s previous compromise offer of 7 gigawatts.
“The FDP has only just returned to parliament after four years in the wilderness. Its deputy leader, Wolfgang Kubicki, sounded the most pessimistic after the talks, telling ARD TV the parties were ‘still so far apart on key issues such as migration, fighting climate change, finances and domestic security, that I can’t imagine how we can get together in the short time available.’ “
It’s worth noting here that the CSU/CDU could simply rule without a majority, theoretically, if a coalition can’t be formed. However, such a decision is without precedent in Germany’s post-WW2 history, so new elections seem the most likely outcome from failed coalition talks.
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