German parties continued talks on Friday to try to form a Conservative-Liberal-Green coalition government. But as David Pollard reports, remaining divisions over their stances on Europe could still snag the negotiations.
Greenpeace in Berlin to picket coalition talks ... And demand a new agriculture policy from a future new government. Its activists perhaps aware that though pigs might fly, that's one thing that's not airborne yet. (SOUNDBITE) (German) VICE CHAIRMAN OF MERKEL'S CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION (CDU), JULIA KLOECKNER SAYING: "We have quite something to do, still what's important is that we achieve results .... Everything needs time and thoroughness and also honesty." Heading up the negotiations: Angela Merkel. A German chancellor returned for a fourth term in September .... But on a slimmer vote. She now has to garner support from the Greens - and the market-friendly FDP. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FREE DEMOCRATS (FDP) LEADER, CHRISTIAN LINDNER, SAYING: "What counts in the end will be the result, whether it's good or not. You can't speed up the process in politics." Beneath the team talk, tensions still lurk. A draft paper seen by Reuters shows divisions over Europe's banking union - the FDP has argued it should be wound down - and its ESM bailout fund. If on the latter, it's also hinted at compromise - in the German tradition. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY STRETCH, HEAD OF G10 FX STRATEGY, CIBC, SAYING: "Germany has been governed by coalitions for recent history .... I think we have to remember that of course the political bulwark of Europe has been Angela Merkel." And the draft paper's emphasis on the importance of Franco-German cooperation may give heart in France too. Where its leader was meeting his German counterpart. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT, EMMANUEL MACRON, SAYING: "Both of us share the feeling that Europe's reconstruction is necessary and urgent and that the year that's beginning is absolutely crucial to it." That, hopes Macron, is Europe's future. If for now, Germany's future still hangs in the balance.