Talks to forming new German government go into overtime - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Talks to forming new German government go into overtime

(Gregor Fischer/dpa via AP). German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the headquarters of the Social Democratic party in Berlin, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 prior to another day in the coalition talks on forming a new German government between Merkel's Chri... (Gregor Fischer/dpa via AP). German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the headquarters of the Social Democratic party in Berlin, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 prior to another day in the coalition talks on forming a new German government between Merkel's Chri...

By GEIR MOULSON
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats pushed into the night Tuesday to try and finalize a deal on forming a new government and bringing an end to the country's political limbo a major step closer.

The two sides had hoped to finish the job of hammering out a coalition deal Sunday, but budgeted for two extra days as a precaution when they started formal negotiations on Jan. 26.

"I have good reason to believe that we will finish today, I hope in a positive spirit and with a good result for our country," Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz said.

If a deal emerges, it won't immediately stop the clock on Germany's longest postelection period without a new government taking shape.

Any agreement will have to be put to a ballot of the Social Democrats' membership for approval, and many in the party are skeptical about extending a four-year partnership with the conservatives after the Social Democrats' disastrous showing in the September election. On the conservative side, Merkel needs only the approval of a party congress.

"Every one of us will have to make painful compromises - I am ready to do that if we can ensure that the benefits ultimately outweigh the disadvantages," Merkel told reporters as she arrived for the talks at the headquarters of her Christian Democratic Union.

"We must not lose sight of the main thing," she added. "If we look at the turbulent developments of the last few hours on stock exchanges: we are living in turbulent times, and what is expected of us as major parties ... is that we form a government for the good of the people, a government that offers reliability."

Two points that are important to the Social Democrats remain to be worked out: their calls to curb the use of temporary work contracts and narrow differences between Germany's public and private health insurance systems.

Failure to reach an agreement, or a deal's rejection by Social Democrat members, would leave a minority government under Merkel or a new election as the only viable options.

Merkel's attempt to put together a government with two smaller parties collapsed in November. Schulz, who had previously ruled out renewing the "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties, then reversed course.

No other plausible combination of parties has a parliamentary majority.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump son's visit to India

    Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump son's visit to India

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 12:21 AM EST2018-02-20 05:21:37 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:37 AM EST2018-02-21 07:37:11 GMT
    The eldest son of President Donald Trump has arrived in India to help sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on Indians who have bought units in Trump-branded developments.
    The eldest son of President Donald Trump has arrived in India to help sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on Indians who have bought units in Trump-branded developments.
  • Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

    Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:12 AM EST2018-02-21 06:12:57 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:36 AM EST2018-02-21 07:36:56 GMT
    A string of criminal suits against Lebanese journalists and researchers has jolted this small country that is accustomed to styling itself as the main forum for ideas in the Middle East.
    A string of criminal suits against Lebanese journalists and researchers has jolted this small country that is accustomed to styling itself as the main forum for ideas in the Middle East.
  • Ukraine's president signs bill on Russia-backed regions

    Ukraine's president signs bill on Russia-backed regions

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 12:12 PM EST2018-02-20 17:12:39 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:36 AM EST2018-02-21 07:36:48 GMT
    Ukraine's president has signed a bill aimed at reintegrating the territories in the country's east that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
    Ukraine's president has signed a bill aimed at reintegrating the territories in the country's east that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
  • NationalMore>>

  • States could face severe flooding, other problems in Midwest

    States could face severe flooding, other problems in Midwest

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:55 AM EST2018-02-21 06:55:12 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:35 AM EST2018-02-21 07:35:10 GMT
    Several states could see severe flooding and other weather-related problems amid a storm system that has brought rain, ice and snow to the Midwest and Great Plains.
    Several states could see severe flooding and other weather-related problems amid a storm system that has brought rain, ice and snow to the Midwest and Great Plains.
  • 15-year-old shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire

    15-year-old shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 3:51 AM EST2018-02-20 08:51:44 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-21 07:34:46 GMT
    A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who was shot five times during the massacre is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
    A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who was shot five times during the massacre is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
  • Florida shooting survivors in capital, demand action on guns

    Florida shooting survivors in capital, demand action on guns

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:43 AM EST2018-02-21 06:43:29 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-21 07:34:42 GMT
    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't...
    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change law now.
Powered by Frankly