Coalition leaders set policy for end of term
21 August 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Leaders of Germany's broad-based coalition set the government's priorities for the remainder of its term during a meeting Monday night.
21 August 2007
Berlin (dpa) - Leaders of Germany's broad-based coalition set the government's priorities for the remainder of its term during a meeting Monday night.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and top officials from her Christian Democratic Party (CDU) held talks in Berlin with Kurt Beck, leader of junior partner the Social Democrats (SPD) and others. The sides discussed the government's focus up to general elections set for 2009.
Beck said the parties had reached a breakthrough on the divisive issue of a minimum wage for postal workers. Edmund Stoiber, head of the CDU's sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), said deals were close on efforts to improve the labour market.
The sides also agreed initiatives on climate change, privatizing Germany's railways, and the country's role in Afghanistan. A renewed mandate for Germany's force will be decided by parliament in November, when the country's continued participation is expected to be approved.
"Differences of opinion are part of a democracy," Stoiber told reporters. "The deciding factor is whether one moves closer on the important themes."
Subject: German news