Merkel Fails To Form Government

After almost two months since the September 24th general election German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her alliance of Christian Democratic Union and Bavaria’s Christian Social Union has been unsuccessful in forming a new coalition government. Merkel needed the support of the two ideologically diverse parties, the pro-business Free Democrats and the leftwing Green party.

Here are the main reasons for the rupture in negotiations:

Among the core differences was the issue of refugee and asylum policy and, in particular, the issue of whether refugees should be allowed to bring their families to Germany.

In 2016, at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, Berlin suspended that right. But the freeze on family reunifications runs out next year, raising the prospect of a spike in new arrivals.
Among the core differences was the issue of refugee and asylum policy and, in particular, the issue of whether refugees should be allowed to bring their families to Germany.

The Bavarian CSU, the sister party of Ms Merkel’s CDU, was determined to prolong the suspension, broadly backed by the CDU and the FDP. The Greens, in contrast, insisted that refugees must be allowed to bring their spouses and children into the country, citing humanitarian reasons.

Other areas of disagreement were Germany’s response to climate change and the Green demand to shut down a significant number of coal-fired power plants, which are among the biggest producers of carbon dioxide emissions.

Tax policy, too, was a bone of contention, with the FDP demanding a rapid phase-out of the so-called solidarity tax that is raised to fund the economic development in eastern Germany. – FT

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