New German government possible next week

15th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

A coalition deal between Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the pro-business Free Democrats should be sewn up by next week.

Berlin -- Germany's new government could be in place by the end of next week if talks on forming a new coalition following elections last month go to plan, sources told AFP on Wednesday.

If all goes well, a coalition deal between Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) should be sewn up by then and ministerial jobs allocated, sources in both camps said.

Merkel was able to ditch the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) as coalition partners following elections on September 27 and enter talks on forming a new centre-right government with the FDP.

She had said that she wanted the new government in place in time for celebrations on November 9 marking 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The negotiations this week have not been plain sailing, however, with the two blocs at odds over a range of issues, most notably the deep tax cuts and reforms that the FDP promised in its election campaign.

With Germany's worst recession since World War II blowing a gaping hole in the country's public finances, Merkel's party sees little room for major cuts and is wary of provoking public protests.

Merkel, 55, won rapturous applause in a speech to trade unions in Hanover on Wednesday when she promised not to make sweeping changes to Germany's labour laws.

The FDP pledged in its campaign to make it easier for firms to hire and fire.

AFP/Expatica

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