German Chancellor Angela Merkel will negotiate with the representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Sunday to try to form a coalition for the second time since her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) achieved poor results in last September’s election.
Merkel believes that the re-coalition, composed of the SPD, the CDU, and its sister Christian-Social Union (CSU), which was in power from 2013 to 2017, is the best option in order to secure stability in its fourth term.
However, the three German parties disagree on a number of issues.
The SPD wants full health insurance reforms to provide a “dual” system.
But Merkel’s conservatives oppose this idea and are more skeptical than the SPD on the issue of plans for deeper European integration.
Migrant policy is likely to be one of the most troublesome issues while Germany is trying to integrate over 1.6 million asylum seekers who have arrived since the beginning of 2015.
The CSU calls for a reduction in asylum seekers’ benefits and a limitation on the number of family members accompanying refugees in Germany, which is in complete opposition to the SPD’s position.
The SPD leadership is worried about possible internal divisions, resolutely putting heavy demands on and saying the outcome of the negotiations is open.
The SDP offers its voters a referendum on preliminary negotiations, due to be held on January 21, before party representatives begin official coalition negotiations.