Libyan Journalist, Poet and Political Activist.
Founder of the Doha based Libyan TV Channel; Libya for the Free - ليبيا لكل ألاحرار
الأربعاء، 27 نوفمبر 2013
Germany_Germany's Angela Merkel signs 'grand coalition' deal with Social Democrats&
(CNN) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a coalition deal with the center-left German Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Wednesday, paving the way for a "grand coalition" of right and left.
The SPD membership must still give final approval to the coalition agreement. They are expected to vote between December 6 and 12.
The deal, agreed to early Wednesday, came more than two months after Germans voted in parliamentary elections and followed lengthy negotiations between Merkel's conservative bloc, her Christian Democratic Union party and the allied CSU, and the SPD.
Speaking at a joint news conference with the leaders of the SPD and CSU, Merkel said the three main points of the deal concerned solid finances, safeguarding wealth, and social security.
On the issue of solid finances, Merkel said Germany wanted to see an end to debt and added that its strength relied on Europe also being strong.
As for wealth, Merkel said it was important that the treaty included no tax increases, which would help small businesses and give their workers job security. She promised investment in education and infrastructure projects, and spoke of the need to ensure Germany's future energy supply without nuclear power.
Despite their differences, the parties managed to reach a compromise on social security that balances flexibility and security, Merkel said.
"We went into the talks with very different ideas, and that is why it took a little while," she said. "We have a good chance to be able to say in 2017 that people will be better off."
Under the coalition treaty, a new nationwide minimum wage of 8.50 euros ($11.50) an hour will come into force starting January 2015.
The 185-page treaty also includes a provision to lower the retirement age, as well as an agreement to charge tolls for foreign vehicles using German highways.
If the deal is approved, Merkel would be in line for a third term in office.
'Good for the country'
Hermann Groehe, general secretary of Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union party, said in a statement on the party's website: "The work is done. The coalition agreement between the CDU, CSU and SPD bears a strong conservative imprint.
"We have achieved a result that will be good for the country. Solid finances and the stability of the euro are at the heart of the agreement."
Merkel emerged from the September elections with the CDU's biggest vote in 20 years. But the CDU and allied Christian Social Union (CSU) party did not win an outright victory, requiring them to form a coalition government.
The pro-business Free Democrats, Merkel's previous coalition partner, failed to pass the 5% threshold for getting into parliament, making a grand coalition with the SPD, the CDU's chief election rival, the most likely scenario.
Merkel's expected third term would give the country consistent leadership at a time when the future of the euro has come under question amid the economic problems of some euro zone members.
While Germany has emerged from the crisis with its economy relatively intact, nations such as Greece have entered deep recessions while unemployment has soared.