Groko formation on the home stretch: Concerns
over SPD members’ verdict
Following about a week of intense meetings, coalition negotiations among the
CDU, the CSU and the SPD have already reached their final state.
The negotiations should end on February 6, the start of the carnival peak season, at
the latest. The three parties will then present the draft of their joint coalition
treaty. But that is only a stage victory. They will have to wait for the outcome of
the SPD membership ballot, which will decide on the treaty and thus on the
formation of a renewed Groko. This postal ballot will take two or three weeks.
Thus, in a reasonable timeline, Angela Merkel’s re-election as Chancellor could
be scheduled for early March – i.e. Before the next meeting of the European
Council on March 22 to 23.
The past days’ speedy negotiations are surprising. Only a fortnight ago, the
debates at the SPD party convention hinted at lengthy proceedings. There, the
delegates criticised the result of the previous exploratory talks, i.e. The basis for
the present negotiations and they called for corrections especially in the fields of
asylum, labour market, and health policy. Finally, with these reservations only a
relatively thin majority (56%) of the delegates voted for their party’s participation
in official negotiations with the CDU/CSU.