The SPD confirmed via WhatsApp that the deal on the coalition treaty was achieved, adding that negotiators are "tired but satisfied," though there are some final details that should be added to the agreement.
— DW | Politik (@dw_politik) February 7, 2018
Text of the Whatsapp message: "Tired. But satisfied. The treaty is agreed! Finally. Now final details yet have to be included in the text. After which the assesment in the group of 35 SPD-…"
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff and acting finance minister Peter Altmaier told reporters that a coalition agreement "that will do a lot of positive things for a lot of citizens" was reached and "now we all want to take a shower because we negotiated long and hard in these last hours."
According to the Spiegel media outlet, the Union and Social democrats initially had the goal of completing the talks on Sunday, whereas, Monday and Tuesday were scheduled as reserve days. However, it took until Wednesday to achieve a breakthrough. At the end of the negotiations, the almost 90 participants of the talks from the CDU, CSU and SPD are due to meet in the Adenauerhaus in Berlin where the CDU has its federal department.
About 450,000 SPD members still have to agree to the deal. It will take about three weeks for the members to reach their decision, after which a new federal government can be formed. The party leadership plans a promotional tour among the voters, as well as among the internal party critics.
The Bild newspaper reports that the Christian Democrats got the Ministry of Economy and Energy as well as the Defense Ministry.
Spiegel also says that during the hours-long deliberations, no breakthrough on the issues of health and labor market policy was achieved.
In December 2017, despite the SPD's previous unwillingness to form the Grand Coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative alliance between the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), sides entered coalition talks.
During its parliamentary election win in Germany on September 24, 2017, Merkel's CDU/CSU alliance obtained 33 percent of votes and secured 246 seats in the parliament, failing to secure an absolute majority. The SPD came second with 20.5 percent of the vote and 153 seats, while third place went to the Free Democratic Party, which got 10.7 percent and 80 seats.