CSU to approve rubber-stamp German coalition deal

German Coal Power Past its Peak       Percentage Share of Coal in German Power Mix              Source AG Energiebilanzen 2018

The SPD, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union reached the coalition deal on Wednesday, which will possibly end the new government vacuum since the September 24 federal election, the longest period ever since 1949.

Angela Merkel's conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) partners faced a chorus of scepticism on Thursday as allies and opponents alike criticised a loveless coalition deal that some said showed the German chancellor's time was coming to an end.

Meetings in Berlin take place a few hours after Merkel's conservatives agreed with Martin Schultz's Social Democratic Party to form a coalition government.

Having reluctantly entered into negotiations on a renewal of the grand coalition under Chancellor Merkel following the collapse of the so-called Jamaica coalition talks, the SPD's leaders said the party's members will have the final say on whether to accept the coalition treaty.

The SPD, which won 59 seats in the September 2017 federal election, has now been accused of being "the biggest losers" which have "ended up as the German government's de facto leaders".

The coalition breakthrough will come as a relief to Germany's European Union partners as the bloc faces tough negotiations on migration and Brexit. He was then accused of flip-flopping, when he announced on Wednesday that he would cede the party chairmanship to succeed Sigmar Gabriel as foreign minister.

Flu outbreak has killed at least 63 children: CDC officials
While the past five flu seasons have lasted 11 to 20 weeks, she could not say how how many more weeks the current season will run. Anytime H3N2 strains are dominant, as they are now, "we tend to see more severe disease more hospitalizations, more deaths".

And the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to the Christian Democrats, is taking charge of the country's Interior Ministry.

The deal still has to be ratified by the SPD's sceptical 460,000-strong membership and The New York Times says the vote is "too close to call".

After a failed attempt to forge an untried alliance with two smaller parties, Merkel opted to woo back the reluctant SPD-her junior partner for two of her three terms since 2005.

For the SPD, the backbiting went public when Gabriel, Germany's acting foreign minister, attacked the leadership for planning to remove him from his post - and implying that he'd been promised that he could continue as the country's top diplomat. Current opinion polls indicate that the SPD is supported by only 17% of voters, not that much more that the Alternative for Germany, hitherto just a fringe party.

The coalition deal would allow the two political camps to renew their so-called grand coalition, which has governed Germany since 2013. The paper cited Friedrich Merz, a former CDU rival whom Merkel sidelined after becoming party chairwoman in 2000, as saying the coalition deal was a "humiliation" for the Christian Democrats.

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