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

Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer will miss a “day of destiny” in Germany’s coalition talks

On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) pledged to work closely with France to strengthen the eurozone, saying they were open to creating an "investment budget" for the currency bloc.

A blueprint for formal negotiations was agreed between Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and their former coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD) almost four months after elections were held September.

The Social Democrats had initially ruled out another coalition with Merkel after poor results in the election on 24 September, but reconsidered after her talks with two other parties failed.

"The world will not wait for us", a weary-looking Merkel said Friday morning after 25 hours of talks, which yielded a deal opening the way to formal negotiations on the details.

Mr. Schulz, who had expressly wished for a role in the opposition after the party's two stints as junior coalition partner, must now travel the country to convince his rank and file that rejoining the government will be good for both the country and the party.

After the week of negotiations and the overnight session, a visibly exhausted Merkel told reporters that she, too, was now "optimistic that things will move forward" to forming a new coalition of the same parties that have run Germany for the past four years.

The euro jumped to a three-year high against the United States dollar after the deal was announced, reflecting the relief of analysts and the perceived importance of German leadership to the European economy. "A fresh start for Europe is also a fresh start for Germany".

The conservatives also performed poorly in the election, and the three coalition parties' support dropped by a total of almost 14 percentage points.

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The Christian Social Union is said to have secured an initial 1,000-a-month cap on visas allowing families to follow one category of refugees to Germany, a cap of 180,000 to 220,000 a year on the total number of refugees allowed to enter, and a promise that income taxes would not be raised.

The SPD party base had to be mobilized, Bülow said, to "stop this grand coalition from within Social Democrats".

They pledged to fight tax dumping and evasion in Europe, pushing for "fair taxation of big companies" including the internet giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, and called for unspecified minimum rates for corporate tax.

Although Merkel's Christian Democrats differ with many of French President Emmanuel Macron's proposals for sweeping reforms of the European Union, Merkel expressed hope they would hammer out compromises to address major challenges facing the bloc.

"Government formation after the parliamentary vote in September is taking longer than we've ever seen in the federal republic", Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, told foreign diplomats at a reception on Thursday night.

On some polling, around half of SPD supporters oppose a new grand coalition.

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

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