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Mar 27, 2023
German Coalition Still Locked in Talks After All-Night Wrangling
(Bloomberg) -- Top officials from Germany’s three-party ruling coalition halted marathon talks in Berlin after negotiating through the night without reaching a final agreement on issues including modernizing highways and climate-protection measures. They will reconvene on Tuesday.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats are trying to put recent public bickering behind them and push ahead with enacting policies agreed in the coalition accord that are important for Germany’s transition to a more environmentally friendly and technologically advanced economy.
In a joint statement released after the talks on Monday, the three parties said theyd made “good progress in trusting and constructive talks” that began on Sunday evening at the chancellery and stretched for nearly 20 hours.
The negotiations had to be interrupted because Scholz and senior cabinet members were due in Rotterdam Monday for meetings with the Dutch government.
“We have made very, very good progress in the consultations,” Scholz told reporters in Rotterdam. “We know that there have been many decades in which everything proceeded much too slowly. That has to change and that will change.”
“The talks we have had so far — very trustful, very friendly with each other — are a good basis to continue them tomorrow,” he added.
Although the coalition is unlikely to break apart anytime soon, the discord in Berlin has disrupted business at the European Union level and is an unwelcome distraction for Scholz as he focuses on Germany’s role in the international alliance supporting Ukraine.
Tensions spilled into the open last week when Habeck, a member of the Greens who is also the vice chancellor, criticized the FDP and urged the three parties to avoid obsessing about opinion polls and their media profiles.
Scholz’s coalition had pledged to avoid the grueling all-night meetings that were a feature of Angela Merkel’s previous governments.
--With assistance from Kamil Kowalcze.
(Updates with Scholz comments from Rotterdam starting fifth paragraph)
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