Negotiators optimistic as German govt talks face key week - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Negotiators optimistic as German govt talks face key week

(Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP). German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles as she arrives for talks about a potential coalition between her Christian Democrats, the Free Democratic party FDP and the Greens in Berlin Friday, Nov. 20, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP). German Chancellor Angela Merkel smiles as she arrives for talks about a potential coalition between her Christian Democrats, the Free Democratic party FDP and the Greens in Berlin Friday, Nov. 20, 2017.

BERLIN (AP) - Negotiators from parties in talks to form Germany's next government said Friday they're optimistic ahead of what they called a decisive week, though significant differences remain.

The pro-business Free Democrats and the traditionally left-leaning Greens would join Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc in government if talks succeed. The parties want to decide next Thursday whether there's enough common ground to move from exploratory talks to formal coalition negotiations.

They have never previously joined together in a national German government however, and went into the talks with wide differences on immigration and climate policy, among other issues.

Negotiators have "developed a lot of common ground," Michael Grosse-Broemer, the parliamentary chief whip of Merkel's party, said Friday. "We are looking forward confidently to next week. We face the decisive week."

Still, party officials made clear that many differences still have to be bridged.

"We have set sail, we are moving forward," said the Greens' general secretary, Michael Kellner. But "I would still like more tail wind from all sides."

The Greens signaled this week they may drop demands for a 2030 deadline to phase out combustion engines and shut down coal-fired power stations, while the Free Democrats conceded there's no majority for a wide-ranging tax reform.

In an interview Friday with the weekly Der Spiegel, Free Democrat leader Christian Lindner kept up his party's tough tone on eurozone financial policy. But he said a party that won around 11 percent support in the last election can't "dictate" the way ahead.

The party had wanted the lending capacity of the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund to be gradually reduced and for it to be phased out eventually. But Lindner said the fund has "built up competence" in overseeing European stability targets and added "if the ESM stays, it could become an instrument for more discipline."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • News HeadlinesNewsMore>>

  • Egypt: Militants kill at least 235 in attack on Sinai mosque

    Egypt: Militants kill at least 235 in attack on Sinai mosque

    Friday, November 24 2017 7:03 AM EST2017-11-24 12:03:03 GMT
    Friday, November 24 2017 3:26 PM EST2017-11-24 20:26:19 GMT

    Egyptian security officials say militants have attacked a mosque in volatile Sinai Peninsula, leaving dozens of casualties.

    Egyptian security officials say militants have attacked a mosque in volatile Sinai Peninsula, leaving dozens of casualties.

  • 'Gunfire' sparks panic in London, but police find nothing

    'Gunfire' sparks panic in London, but police find nothing

    Friday, November 24 2017 12:15 PM EST2017-11-24 17:15:07 GMT
    Friday, November 24 2017 3:26 PM EST2017-11-24 20:26:12 GMT

    British police say they are responding to reports of an incident at Oxford Circus subway station, one of London's busiest.

    British police say they are responding to reports of an incident at Oxford Circus subway station, one of London's busiest.

  • Warm and breezy

    Warm and breezy

    Friday, November 24 2017 5:16 AM EST2017-11-24 10:16:28 GMT
    Source KAUZSource KAUZ

    Warm for Black Friday and our weather stays quiet through the beginning of next week. 

    Warm for Black Friday and our weather stays quiet through the beginning of next week. 

Powered by Frankly