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Merkel’s coalition buckles to US pressure and SCRAPS plan to reduce carbon emissions

Merkel’s coalition buckles to US pressure and SCRAPS plan to reduce carbon emissions


The German Chancellor is locked in negotiations with opposition party the SPD as she tries to form a so-called Grand Coalition four months on from her disappointing election results.

Already the two parties have been fractured after agreeing the contentious issue to limit family reunions for migrants to 1,000 a year.

And now the German Chancellor has fallen to pressure to drop the previous government’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

Documents show the focus is now on a legally binding 2030 goal to cut emissions by 55 percent via savings in transport, agriculture, energy and buildings, supported by tax incentives or subsidies.

But their woolly agreement will still disappoint Mr Gore as they only committed to draw up a plan to phase out coal-generated electricity and set a date for its end, without indicating when.

Germany has been without a government since September when Angela Merkel failed to win a strong enough majority to form a coalition with smaller parties, something which was first deemed more feasible.

Her Christian Democratic Union party suffered to anti-migrant party the AfD who soared in polls in the wake of Mrs Merkel’s open door migrant policy which peaked in the summer of 2015 when millions of asylum seekers came from Syria and north Africa.

 

Mrs Merkel was forced to build another coalition with the SPD, led by the reluctant Martin Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament.

But not all are happy, with the youth wing of the SPD urging Mr Schulz to quit talks as he fails to win big in negotiations.

Working groups are wading through the details of the framework coalition deal on policies from Europe to tax and migrants.

Mr Schulz told reporters the two sides were moving nearer on Europe policy immediately before entering talks on the policy area. 

Giving few details, he said both sides were keen on tackling tax evasion and low-wage competition on a European-wide basis.

Earlier, the parties had agreed to cap pension contributions, divided between workers and employers, at 20 percent of an individual's salary to 2025, party sources said.

The SPD, which failed to win voters with a campaign focused on social justice, had before the election wanted a cap of 21.8 percent until 2030 from 18.7 percent.

In the blueprint deal, the parties also agreed to stabilise pensions at 48 percent of the average wage by 2025.

 

 

The parties have also agreed to keep social security payments to below 40 percent of gross pay and to give companies the chance to write down digital investments.

Late on Tuesday, the parties also agreed on steps to create 8,000 more jobs in the care sector and improve pay.

The SPD are pushing for tweaks that will help its leaders sell a final coalition deal to its 440,000 members, many of whom are against joining Merkel's conservatives again.

Any deal will depend on the approval of SPD members who will be balloted after party leaders agree - possibly at the end of the weekend or early next week.

Already, the JUSOS youth wing of the SPD has sharply criticised the deal on family reunions for migrants, saying the SPD leaders had not delivered sufficient improvements from the exploratory talks blueprint.

"If we don't succeed in getting more out of the negotiations overall, we must break off talks with the conservatives," JUSOS leader Kevin Kuehnert told Deutschlandfunk radio.