'Positive for Europe' Juncker praises German coalition deal promising to boost Brussels

  • 'Positive for Europe' Juncker praises German coalition deal promising to boost Brussels

'Positive for Europe' Juncker praises German coalition deal promising to boost Brussels

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to conclude negotiations with the Social Democrats (SPD) on forming a coalition government by mid-February, a source in her conservative party said on Friday.

"I'm very satisfied content-wise with what the CDU/CSU and SPD have reached in terms of joint policies for the future", Juncker said, referring to Merkel's Christian Democrats and allied Bavarian Christian Social Union and Schulz's Social Democrats.

The prospective partners have governed Germany together for the past four years but Schulz, Merkel's defeated challenger in Germany's September 24 election, initially said after the Social Democrats crashed to a disastrous result that they would go into opposition.

The terms of the deal are more favourable to the European project than previous attempts for a German coalition government did at the end of a year ago, Macron said, adding that he was happy to find in the deal echoes of his own proposals.

The blueprint will next be presented to party members for approval.

"We've been here for 24 hours and I wasn't sure we would succeed", Merkel said.

"In close partnership with France, we want to sustainably strengthen and reform the euro zone so the euro can better withstand global crises", the parties said.

According to a coalition paper leaked to German press on Friday morning, the new government would be prepared to make higher contributions to the European Union budget, as well as support "funds for economic convergence and social convergence and support of structural reforms that can be starting point for future investment budget for eurozone".

Left party chairwoman Sahra Wagenknecht said the deal would perpetuate "blatant social injustice", including Germany's precarious low-wage sector and poverty in old age, while business raked in "gushing dividends".

The progress in stabilizing Germany's government propelled the euro to a three-year high versus the dollar to trade at $1.2122 as of 11:09 a.m.in Frankfurt.

He reluctantly reconsidered after Merkel's coalition talks with two smaller parties collapsed in November.

"We are working seriously. on creating the conditions to be able to live well in Germany in 10 or 15 years", she said.

The three coalition parties' support dropped by a cumulative total of almost 14 percentage points in the election.

On migration, an issue that is key for Seehofer's CSU, the agreement states that the number of new asylum-seekers shouldn't exceed a range of 180,000 to 220,000 annually.

However, the Social Democrats have more leverage this time round.

Merkel now leads a caretaker government, limiting her ability to take major policy initiatives as French President Emmanuel Macron pushes an ambitious European reform agenda.

The party leaders agreed to a 28-page deal on Friday morning.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of Bulgaria, which now holds the bloc's rotating presidency, said the European Union was waiting "impatiently" for Merkel to reemerge, heading a new coalition: "for the benefit of all".