World Bulletin/News Desk
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and their potential coalition partner Social Democrats have denied on Friday growing speculations about the distribution of ministerial posts.
"Some newspapers continue to write otherwise. But neither in our preliminary talks (with the CDU/CSU), nor in our internal party discussions the ministerial posts have been discussed,” said SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel in his Facebook message he posted on Friday. “For the time being it is all about the content, and nothing else, “he stressed.
CDU’s Secretary General Herman Groehe also told public radio Deutsclandfunk that ministerial posts have not been discussed yet. He underlined that they would first discuss the content and then would come to the issue of cabinet posts.
Germany’s Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday that the Social Democrats would likely to drop their demand for foreign ministry but in return would insist for the finance and labor ministries which would give them more influence on coalition government’s policies. The daily based its story on information by party sources. During the preliminary coalition talks with the CDU/CSU, Social Democrats also focused on the issues finance and labor and insisted on their election promise of introducing a legal nationwide minimum wage.
Amid growing speculations over possible cabinet posts, Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and their potential coalition partner Social Democrats have continued on Friday their internal party discussions on a possible “grand coalition.”
CDU’s Federal Executive Board anonymously approved on Friday entering coalition talks with the Social Democrats. CDU’s sister party CSU is also expected to give its green light on a meeting scheduled for Monday.
SPD’s mini party convention will convene on Sunday and decide on whether or not to proceed to "formal coalition negotiations" with the CDU/CSU alliance.
The negotiation teams of the CDU/CSU and Social Democrats had three round of preliminary talks after the September 22 elections and reached a common ground on Thursday. They decided to seek the approval of party decision-making bodies for entering coalition negotiations.
The formal negotiations between the CDU/CSU and the SPD can start as early as next Wednesday and they are expected to continue for weeks due to deep divisions on major policy issues. At the end of the formal negotiations, any preliminary agreement with the CDU/CSU still has to be approved by the 470,000 members of the SPD in a mini-referendum.
The formation of a new coalition government may be extended to December.Last Mod: 18 Ekim 2013, 21:30