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German coalition talks enter new round

 
Berlin, Nov 16 (IANS) Coalition negotiations between Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to form the country's next government have entered a new round.

"We will continue our consultations today, I think we are on a very constructive path," said Olaf Scholz, the SPD chancellor candidate.

Details of the talks are scarce as the parties have agreed to keep their conversations confidential.

Following talks in 22 working groups of negotiators, the remaining points of contention, such as those related to climate change and finance, are now to be tackled by the main negotiating groups, reports Xinhua news agency.

At some point, the negotiators will discuss the allocation of government positions, but "for now we will concentrate on content", Green Party leader Robert Habeck said on Monday.

Asked what the most important issue would be on Monday, FDP leader Christian Lindner replied: "Everything".

The Green Party's co-leader, Annalena Baerbock, said she was not satisfied with the progress made in the negotiations and that it was too early to tell when an agreement could be reached on the key issues.

Baerbock said on Saturday that the new government must be a "climate protection government".

The coalition negotiations are scheduled to be concluded this month. The SPD in particular is pushing to have Scholz elected as chancellor in December.

In the September elections, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP ended the dominant role of the conservatives led by incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel for over a decade in Germany's Bundestag (lower house of Parliament).

--IANS
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