Germans told to wait for govt
Germany may need to wait until the new year for Chancellor Angela Merkel to form an administration as the three blocs trying to agree a deal are so far apart, a Bavarian ally of Merkel has told Reuters.
Alexander Dobrindt, the parliamentary leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said a coalition agreement would have to be more detailed than previous deals.
Merkel is trying to build a three-way coalition of her conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens.
And her alliance with the CSU has been strained by her open-door migration policy.
The allied parties have introduced a guideline that limits the number of people taken in for humanitarian reasons to 200,000 per year. This figure includes asylum applicants, refugees as defined by the Geneva Convention and arrivals through family reunification applications, the CSU said. The cap does not apply to skilled workers.
Dobrindt told Reuters: “As we know that the points that separate us outweigh those we have in common, one can have doubts about whether a coalition agreement is possible this year.
“It is conceivable that we can’t complete in December and that final talks – if there even are any – will only possible next year,” he said.
Opposing Merkel in the Bundestag will be the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which came in third in last month’s parliamentary elections.
The new AfD leaders, Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland (pictured), took over the anti-immigration party after the resignation of former leader Frauke Petry, who says she wants to form her own party. Weidel and Gauland are separated in age by nearly 40 years and have contrasting origins.
Weidel, 38, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs, joined the AfD in 2013. She has lived overseas and speaks conversational Mandarin. While the right-wing party’s manifesto favours a “traditional family” having “a father, mother and children”, she is a lesbian raising two children with her partner Sarah Bossard, a Switzerland-based film producer.
She told the Frankfurter Allgemeine she joined the party because: “I do not want to be reproached later for having not tried. I do it as well for my children.”
Weidel has a PhD in business from the University of Bayreuth and wrote her dissertation about retirement in China. She worked at the Bank of China.
The new AfD leaders, Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. Picture credit: Wikimedia