Today, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union meets its conservative partner, the Christian Social Union, to secure common ground ahead of what could be months of coalition talks with other parties.
Despite winning last month’s election, Merkel has been unable to form a majority. Backed by 57% of Germans, a “Jamaica coalition” between the CDU, pro-business Free Democrats and pro-immigration Greens appears likely. While facing substantial policy differences, all three have indicated this is the preferred solution.
However, the CSU has pivoted rightward to beat back the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany. The Bavarian party wants to shore up security and restrict immigration. This has complicated Merkel’s plans, as both the Greens and FDP have warned such “maximal demands” undermine the coalition’s prospects.
At this critical juncture, Merkel needs all her pragmatism and cunning to get the parties to cooperate. Cabinet posts could mollify the smaller parties —FDP leader Christian Lindner is tipped for the finance portfolio, while the Greens will likely get the foreign ministry.
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