At the end of their exploratory talks on a new government, the CDU/CSU and SPD still have the most difficult issues ahead of them.
At the end of the fourth day of negotiations, michael grosse-bromer (CDU), parliamentary secretary of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, said that there were still "some big boulders" to be cleared away. It’s all about the "heartfelt issues" now, she said. Among other things, the union and SPD found a common position on the weed poison glyphosate, which had caused massive trouble in the previous grand coalition. But all results will only be sealed at the end of the negotiations.
Grosse-bromer said that tough negotiations had already taken place in some specialist groups, "possibly also with a clear approach". But he is optimistic that solutions can be found. Union and SPD had responsibility not only for the parties, but also for the country.
At the end of the five-day exploratory talks, the decisive points are to be put on the table – taxes and finances, family reunification for refugees and new regulations on migration, europe and education. On thursday, at the latest on friday, the explorers want to present a result paper, on the basis of which the SPD leadership could then recommend official coalition negotiations to the party or not. The decision was then made at an SPD party conference on 21 june. January.
In the event of a new government, the CDU/CSU and SPD want to restrict the use of glyphosate with national regulations. "We will significantly restrict the use of pesticides containing glyphosate with a systematic mitigation strategy, with the aim of fundamentally ending their use as soon as possible," reads a draft paper from the responsible exploratory group, obtained by the german press agency. Agriculture minister christian schmidt (CSU) had a further approval in the EU agreed despite express no from SPD environment minister barbara hendricks.
In the area of consumer protection, the CDU/CSU and SPD want to open up new avenues of action for cases with many victims, such as the diesel scandal. The draft paper states that a model action for a declaratory judgment should be introduced to improve enforcement of the law. Also aiming for more animal welfare and labeling for meat from better animal husbandry. "We want to make the recognizability of animal foods that go beyond the legal requirements of husbandry reliable, simple and consumer-friendly."
Union and SPD also want to avoid diesel driving bans and generally reduce air pollution from car exhaust fumes. "Mobility policy is committed to the paris climate protection agreement," states another draft paper obtained by dpa. This should also be achieved with "more efficient and cleaner combustion engines, including retrofitting". Since the federal government’s diesel summit in the summer, this term has been used to describe software updates for older vehicles in order to reduce pollutant emissions.
During the exploratory talks so far, there was always trouble about the leaking of interim results, although all three parties had committed themselves to secrecy. SPD leader martin schulz appealed to the union in the round of 39 explorers on tuesday evening to assume its responsibility for state policy, as the deutsche presse-agentur learned from participant circles. The "redaktionsnetzwerk deutschland" quoted schulz as saying: "the indiscretions do not do justice to the responsibility of the union side in terms of state policy."There are people on the union side "who are doing serious damage to the exploratory talks".
On the controversial issue of family reunification, SPD interior politician burkhard lischka proposed a compromise of a rough order of 40,000 reunified family members. This corresponds to the number of visas for members of syrian refugees from previous years, he told the "mitteldeutsche zeitung". There was allowed to be resistance to this from the union.
Family reunification is suspended until mid march for refugees with limited protection status, which includes many syrians. The union wants it suspended, the SPD doesn’t. A decision is urgent. In order for the bundesrat to be able to approve a law on the further suspension of family reunification in good time, the law must be passed by the session on 2 january. Marz fast-tracked through the bundestag to then pass the bundesrat, newspaper writes.
Negotiators also began exploring financial options. A financial framework of up to 45 billion euros was discussed. According to reports, the wishes of the interlocutors were even more expensive. Tax and financial policy, which is usually brushed aside at the end, was another issue. The CSU rejects the SPD’s call for a gradual increase in the top tax rate from 42 to 45 percent. According to the SPD, the increase should serve to compensate for plans to make the top tax rate apply only to somewhat higher incomes. In the future, the tax will no longer be payable at just under 55,000 euros, but only from an annual income of 60,000 euros.