Roundup: German parties stake out conditions for "Jamaica" coalition

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-26 23:11:37|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Greens (Gruene) on Tuesday began laying out their conditions for forming a likely "Jamaica" coalition to govern Germany together in the next Federal parliament (Bundestag).

Ahead of the start of official negotiation talks, CDU vice-chairman Volker Bouffier emphasized the need for the joint faction of the CDU and Christian Social Union (CSU) to take the leading role in a prospective federal government.

"Jamaica can only work when the CDU/CSU, the by far strongest faction, is the dominant element," Bouffier told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). The other parties involved would have to accept their subordinate position accordingly, he said.

In response, the Greens and FDP reiterated their openness to talks with the CDU/CSU whilst noting their programmatic differences.

Green party parliamentary speaker Sven-Christian Kindler welcomed prospective political discussions but told the newspaper Heilsbronner Stimme that the CDU/CSU and FDP would have to surrender their resistance to more ambitious climate policy, combating social inequality and a human rights-grounded refugee policy.

FDP vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki showcased a sober realism on the part of his party, pointing to the "large" discrepancies in outlook between the parties of a "Jamaica" coalition.

"Everyone will have to make compromises," Kubicki told the newspaper Nordwest-Zeitung. He singled out immigration policy and digitalization as areas were the parties involved still clashed. The FDP repeatedly called for a stricter migration regime tailored to the needs of Germany's labor market on the campaign trail.

Even within the joint conservative faction traditionally formed by the CDU and CSU, divisions have become apparent. CSU representatives said that they could not help but feel deeply affected by the election in which it suffered heavier losses than its CDU sister party.

"The CSU provided voters with guarantees and these included an upper limit on the number of refugees admitted to Germany," CSU secretary general Andreas Scheuer told the newspaper Passauer Neue Presse. His words constituted a thinly-veiled stab at CDU leader Angela Merkel who has consistently ruled out a fixed annual limit.

The CDU, CSU and Greens will all hold internal meetings on Tuesday to determine the make-up of their new parliamentary factions. CDU leader Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer have both proposed renewing the term of Volker Kauder as their parties' joint parliamentary faction leader.

The CSU must also determine a successor to their current chairwoman Gerda Hasselfeldt, with Seehofer announcing his attention to propose the last government's transport minister Alexander Dobrindt for the post.

German business representatives have largely been welcoming to the prospect of a "Jamaica" coalition but highlighted the need for a new government to be formed swiftly.

Germany needed a government capable of acting as fast as possible "in light of the current situation of global politics and economic necessities," Ingo Kramer, president of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, wrote in the Neue Passauer Presse. End