Germany

Articles about voting issues in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Germany: Social Democrat leader sees progress toward coalition talks with Merkel | Reuters

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) cited progress on Wednesday in efforts to win support for formal talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and some colleagues said rejecting a coalition would dent party ratings. SPD members, who will vote on Sunday on whether to back talks, last week agreed to a coalition blueprint, which some however say does not bear enough of the party’s hallmarks and they would be better off in opposition. SPD leader Martin Schulz is criss-crossing the country to persuade delegates to give him a mandate to pursue formal coalition negotiations in the face of a strong backlash from the party’s left and youth wings.

Full Article: German Social Democrat leader sees progress toward coalition talks with Merkel.

Germany: Merkel deal with Social Democrats opens way to new German government | Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a deal with Social Democrat (SPD) rivals on Friday to open government coalition talks, easing months of uncertainty that has undermined Germany’s global role and raised questions about her political future. But the deal to revive a “grand coalition” that has governed since 2013 must be approved by an SPD congress planned for January 21. Some members fear further association with Merkel’s chancellorship could erode the influence of the party which suffered the worst result in September’s election since the modern Federal Republic was founded in 1949. “We have felt since the elections that the world will not wait for us, and in particular…we are convinced we need a new call for Europe,” Merkel, who has played a central role tackling crises over the euro and refugees, said after exploratory talks that had run through the night.

Full Article: Merkel deal with Social Democrats opens way to new German government.

Germany: Merkel Embarks on New Talks to Form Government | Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel embarked Sunday on talks with the center-left Social Democrats on forming a new government, with leaders stressing the need for speed as they attempt to break an impasse more than three months after the country’s election. Leaders aim to decide by Friday whether there’s enough common ground to move on to formal coalition negotiations. Whatever the result, it will be a while yet before a new administration is in place to end what is already post-World War II Germany’s longest effort to put together a new government. Germany’s Sept. 24 election produced a parliamentary majority for only two plausible coalitions: the outgoing alliance of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union and its Bavaria-only sister, the Christian Social Union, with the Social Democrats; or an untried combination of the conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and the left-leaning Greens.

Full Article: Germany's Merkel Embarks on New Talks to Form Government | World News | US News.

Germany: Second time lucky? Merkel starts over with coalition talks | Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, weakened by an election setback in September, launches a second bid to build a coalition government on Sunday when she sits down with the Social Democrats (SPD) for exploratory talks. A re-run of her ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD, in power from 2013 to 2017, appears the best option for conservative Merkel is as it would provide stability in what would be her fourth term. But with success far from guaranteed, there are a range of other possible scenarios. After her conservatives bled support to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Sept. 24 national election, Merkel saw her authority undermined two months later by the collapse of three-way coalition talks with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens.

Full Article: Second time lucky? Merkel starts over with coalition talks.

Germany: Germany ends 2017 without a government for Angela Merkel | Deutsche Welle

It was just before midnight on November 19 that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s dream of a so-called “Jamaica coalition” collapsed. The political constellation consisting of the conservative union parties (CDU/CSU), the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the pro-environment Greens — whose colors together reflect those of the Caribbean country’s flag — was to not be. Christian Lindner, the FDP leader, stood up from the negotiating table in the Parliamentary Association building and declared that his party had had enough. The FDP could not support policies they didn’t believe in, he said. Outside, Lindner said a few words into the microphones, then vanished into the night.

Full Article: Germany ends 2017 without a government for Angela Merkel | Germany | DW | 30.12.2017.

Germany: Conservatives, SPD start talks Jan. 7 on another ‘grand coalition’ | Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed to exploratory talks on forming a new government starting on Jan. 7, both parties said on Wednesday after informal discussions. The decision, 87 days after a national election that returned a fragmented parliament and complicated coalition arithmetic, brightens prospects for a renewal of the “grand coalition” that governed Germany over the past four years. A repeat coalition is Merkel’s best chance of securing a fourth term as chancellor after talks on forming a three-way alliance with two smaller parties broke down, leaving Europe’s largest economy in an unprecedented state of uncertainty. “It was a good discussion in a trusting atmosphere,” the parties said in a joint statement after leaders met on Wednesday. They agreed to hold four days of talks from Jan. 7, with the aim of deciding by Jan. 12 whether to open formal coalition negotiations.

Full Article: Germany's conservatives, SPD start talks Jan. 7 on another 'grand coalition'.

Germany: Never-ending coalition talks break record | Deutsche Welle

So much for German efficiency. Ongoing attempts to form a new government after the country’s September 24 election are once again looking bleak. After the collapse of lengthy coalition talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the environmental Green party, all hopes were put on resuscitating a grand coalition between the CDU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Now those hopes will have to be put on ice.

Full Article: Germany′s never-ending coalition talks break record | News | DW | 20.12.2017.

Germany: Partial power-share can end German political dilemma, some in SPD say | Reuters

Wary of renewing a coalition with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany’s Social Democrats are instead contemplating a so-called “cooperation” arrangement that would see them agree on a minimal program but leave contested matters up for debate. With talks on a new government starting on Wednesday, the “cooperation” suggestion is seen by some in the party as an answer to the dilemma of a centre-left party that fears sharing power with conservatives blurs its identity in voters’ minds. Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz said he would lead the SPD into opposition after a disastrous showing in September’s national election, but was forced to reconsider after Merkel’s attempts at forming a three-way government collapsed, leaving Europe’s economic powerhouse without a new government.

Full Article: Partial power-share can end German political dilemma, some in SPD say.

Germany: Merkel, Social Democrats seek clarity on coalition talks | Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) say they hope to find clarity soon on prospects for a new ruling coalition as they gear up for exploratory talks this week. The conservatives, meeting on Monday to map out their negotiating positions, believe compromises can be reached to renew the “grand coalition” that governed for the past four years. The two blocs must overcome differences over the future of Europe, pensions, health care and education. Merkel, whose CDU/CSU alliance last month failed to cut a coalition deal with two smaller parties after an inconclusive national election in September, is due to brief the media at 1 pm (1200 GMT).

Full Article: Merkel, Social Democrats seek clarity on coalition talks.

Germany: Merkel’s center-right party may be trying to form a government with the center-left. That could be a problem. | The Washington Post

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to form a government, but her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) does not have enough seats. She started negotiations with the leaders of three smaller parties, which broke down on Nov. 19. Currently there is a lot of discussion about a possible resumption of a “grand coalition” — between Merkel’s center-right party and the center-left — among the CDU, the CDU’s Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The SPD was initially resistant to the idea, but is now coming around. Here’s what that means for German politics.

Full Article: In Germany, Merkel’s center-right party may be trying to form a government with the center-left. That could be a problem. - The Washington Post.

Germany: SPD to start talks with Merkel next week if members agree | Reuters

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said on Monday he would launch talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on forming a government next week if members of his center-left party gave him the green light at a congress this weekend. The remarks by Martin Schulz raised hopes that the two parties that suffered losses to the far right in an election in September could renew an alliance that has ruled Germany since 2013 and end the political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy. Merkel turned to the SPD after failing to form a three-way alliance with the left-leaning Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats, plunging Germany into a political impasse and raising doubt about her future after 12 years in power.

Full Article: German SPD to start talks with Merkel next week if members agree.

Germany: After Tumultuous Week, Germany’s Politics Look to the Familiar | The New York Times

After a week of upheaval and uncertainty, Chancellor Angela Merkel turned to her old coalition partners in hopes of returning stability to Germany’s political scene by raising the prospect of giving the country the same government that has led since 2013. In an overture to the Social Democrats, Ms. Merkel, leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union, moved away from her previous talk of possible new elections. Instead she welcomed the chance to accept an invitation from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to sit down to talks, and pledged to work toward opening formal coalition negotiations as quickly as possible. “We need to create stability; the people expect that of us,” Ms. Merkel said on Monday after a meeting of her party’s leadership. “Consequently, we are ready to open talks with the Social Democrats.” She pledged that the talks would be conducted “honestly and of course with a view to their success.”

Full Article: After Tumultuous Week, Germany’s Politics Look to the Familiar - The New York Times.

Germany: SPD not in a rush to partner up with Angela Merkel again | Deutsche Welle

Germany’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) are holding high-level meetings on Friday to discuss how to move forward after party leaders held talks in Berlin last night about possibly renewing their government partnership. German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkeljoined Horst Seehofer, the leader of her Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), in a meeting with the leader of the center-left SPD Martin Schulz on Thursday night. The talks, held at the invitation of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, lasted for two hours as the party leaders probed whether they are ready — or willing — to start negotiations on forming Germany’s next government.

Full Article: German coalition talks: SPD not in a rush to partner up with Angela Merkel again | News | DW | 01.12.2017.

Germany: Another Angela Merkel-led grand coalition in Germany | Deutsche Welle

In her capacity as the leader of the conservative CDU, Angela Merkel meets Thursday evening with the head of the Bavarian conservative party Horst Seehofer, Social Democratic (SPD) chairman Martin Schulz and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Here’s what you need to know ahead of their talks about the new possible German government. How did we get here? After the CDU/CSU outperformed the SPD in Germany’s September 24 national election, Merkel was charged with forming a government, while Schulz declared that the Social Democrats would go into the opposition. But the breakdown of talks to form a three-way coalition between conservatives, the center-right business-friendly Free Democratic Party and the Greens (FDP) has put the grand coalition back on the table as the only other realistic chance for a parliamentary majority. After pressure from within his own party, Schulz dropped his categorical opposition to continuing the current arrangement between Germany’s two largest political parties, traditionally rivals.

Full Article: Another Angela Merkel-led grand coalition in Germany: What you need to know | Germany | DW | 30.11.2017.

Germany: Spy agency attacks Facebook and others for failing to tackle fake news | AFP

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has accused US tech giants such as Facebook of failing to take enough responsibility for content on their sites, undermining democracy by not distinguishing between fact and opinion. “Today we are discovering a ‘fifth estate’ that makes claims but up until now does not want to take any social responsibility,” Hans-Georg Maassen told a conference on cybersecurity organised by Germany’s Handelsblatt daily. “These are huge digital companies that only see themselves as conveyors of information and hide behind the legal privileges enjoyed by platforms because they do not want to take over editorial verification of their content.” Germany has been a leading proponent of stricter regulation of social media networks, passing a law in June to introduce fines of up to €50m ($59.67m) if they fail to remove hateful postings promptly.

Full Article: German spy agency attacks Facebook and others for failing to tackle fake news | World news | The Guardian.

Germany: Merkel points to grand coalition with Social Democrats | Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday welcomed the prospect of talks on a “grand coalition” with her Social Democrat (SPD) rivals and defended the record of the previous such government, saying it had worked well. Merkel’s fourth term was cast into doubt when the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) walked out of three-way coalition talks with her conservative bloc and the Greens last Sunday, causing a political impasse in Europe’s biggest economy. But on Friday, the SPD reversed a previous decision and agreed to talk to Merkel, raising the possibilities of a new “grand coalition” which has ruled Germany for the last four years, or of a minority government.

Full Article: Merkel points to grand coalition with Social Democrats.

Germany: Echoes of the Weimar Republic as German politicians lose knack of coalition-building | The Guardian

Danyal Bayaz has experienced many things during his first few weeks as a new MP, but boredom is not one of them. Two months after entering Germany’s parliament as a Green party candidate, Bayaz, 34, from Heidelberg, has watched rightwing politicians give each other standing ovations for Eurosceptic diatribes, leftwingers heckle the far right as racists and a former climate activist with dyed hair form unlikely alliances with Christian Democrats in tailored suits. Last week Bayaz saw the dramatic collapse of coalition talks that would have seen his Green colleagues catapulted into government and now faces the possibility that his seat may come up for grabs again in fresh elections next spring. “Right now I am not even sure if it’s worth me getting a loyalty card here,” he quips as he orders a cappuccino in the Bundestag’s canteen. For years, German politics were both mocked and admired for being too uneventful to the point of tedium. Only recently the lack of drama inside the reconstructed Reichstag’s circular plenary chamber led to calls for a more confrontational, Westminster-style approach. But as old geopolitical certainties have crumbled over the past 18 months, Berlin’s consensual, unexcitable style of policymaking has won new admirers.

Full Article: Echoes of the Weimar Republic as German politicians lose knack of coalition-building | World news | The Guardian.

Germany: Germany moves closer to snap election | Politico

Germany moved a step closer to a snap election after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a government with smaller parties fell apart and the Social Democrats refused to step into the breach. Europe’s biggest economy and pre-eminent political power was plunged into deep political uncertainty late Sunday night after the collapse of exploratory talks involving Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, plus the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens. That left the Social Democrats (SPD) as the only viable junior partners who could give Merkel a parliamentary majority. But SPD leaders voted unanimously Monday not to reprise the “grand coalition” of the last four years with Merkel’s conservatives, having recorded the worst result in their history in September’s general election. An extended period of political limbo in Germany means a range of decisions on the national and EU level will be on hold — most notably on French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to overhaul the eurozone.

Full Article: Germany moves closer to snap election – POLITICO.

Germany: Merkel prefers fresh elections over minority government | Deutsche Welle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Monday that she was ready to take her Christian Democratic (CDU) party into fresh elections after coalition talks with the Green party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) failed over the weekend. “I’m very skeptical,” about leading a minority government, Merkel told public broadcaster ZDF. The center-right politician said she was ready to lead Germany for four more years, but that she felt a majority government was necessary for stability in her country and Europe. Merkel’s statement does not necessarily mean Germany is headed for snap elections. First, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will approach other parties to see if a last-ditch coalition can be cobbled together.

Full Article: Coalition talks: Germany′s Angela Merkel prefers fresh elections over minority government | News | DW | 20.11.2017.

Germany: Coalition talks collapse after deadlock on migration and energy | The Guardian

Exploratory talks to form Germany’s next coalition government collapsed shortly before midnight on Sunday when the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of marathon negotiations. “The four discussion partners have no common vision for modernisation of the country or common basis of trust,” the FDP leader, Christian Lindner, announced after the four parties involved missed several self-prescribed deadlines to resolve differences on migration and energy policy. “It is better not to govern than to govern badly.” The euro slid in Asian trade overnight thanks to the uncertainty in Europe’s powerhouse nation. Against the yen, the euro was down 0.6% on the day to a two-month low and slipped 0.5% against the US dollar. It was down 0.43% against the pound at €1.125.

Full Article: German coalition talks collapse after deadlock on migration and energy | World news | The Guardian.