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    Martin Schulz, chairman of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), front left, German Chancellor and chairwomen of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel, front right, and Horst Seehofer, rear center, chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), arrive for coalition negotiations on a new German government between the Christian Unions bloc and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.

    German SPD Confirms Deal to Form Governing Coalition With Merkel's Bloc

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU / CSU alliance and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) have completed the coalition talks on forming the government, the SPD said via WhatsApp.

    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.

    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.

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    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 shadow of German Chancellor Angela Merkel photographed as she addresses the media after a meeting with German parliament floor leaders about the European Union bail-out in Berlin, Monday, May 10, 2010.
    © AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
    According to the Spiegel, the sides have even agreed the allocation of ministerial positions: the Social Democrats will receive, among other things, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the departments Finance and Labor. The dpa agency said citing its sources among negotiators that the SPD leader Martin Schulz is going to quit the post to become the foreign minister in the country's new cabinet. According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Andrea Nahles, the SPD leader in the Bundestag, will take over the party leadership.

    The Bild newspaper reports that the Christian Democrats got the Ministry of Economy and Energy as well as the Defense Ministry.

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    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.

    SPD members voted to allow their party's leadership to enter talks with the CDU/CSU alliance on establishing a coalition government after the talks on the formation of the coalition government that would include Merkel's CDU/CSU, the Green Party and the FDP collapsed. The Free Democrats pulled out from the negotiations in November after four weeks of fruitless efforts to find a consensus between the parties. Disagreements over issues such as migration and climate change were reportedly behind the breakdown of the talks.

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    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.

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    coalition talks, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), Angela Merkel, Germany
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