Germany’s would-be coalition partners appeared to be stalled over the thorny issue of immigration policy on Sunday despite inching closer to agreement on other major sticking points including climate policy. Pascale Davies reports.
WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's efforts to form a three way ruling coalition have run into overtime. The three would be coalition partners meeting over the weekend In a last-ditch effort to define the terms of a future government coalition The incumbent chancellor needs to form a coalition if she wants to secure a fourth term, after suffering losses in September's election. That would be an awkward three way conservative-liberal-Green alliance. But, after four weeks of talks, the parties remain far apart on issues like migration and climate change. No one appears keen to give ground. The Greens want emissions cuts that the other parties see as economically unpalatable. While Merkel's arch-conservative allies in Bavaria insist on stricter immigration rules. The shadow of a far-right surge hanging over talks, in September's election the Alternative for Germany party emerged as the third largest faction. Now Bavaria's Chrisitian Social Union are fearful about regional state elections next year. It's concerned that it could lose its majority if it is perceived as weak on immigration. Among its demands is a cap of 200,000 per year on the number of refugees Germany will take in. The Free Democrat leader says the talks between the would be coalition will wrap up on Sunday (November 19). No party wants to be seen as the one that brought the coalition down, as a fresh round of elections could strengthen the position of the far right.