Negotiations on the make-up of Germany’s new conservative coalition have been taking place amid a growing clamour for action on the nuclear industry. Hundreds of protestors gathered in Berlin calling for an end to nuclear power and demanding Germany’s reactors close as promised by 2020.
Fresh from winning last week’s election, Chancellor Angela Merkel has begun talks with the liberal FDP party on forming Germany’s first centre-right coalition in 11 years. Guido Westerwelle, is head of the pro business FDP. He said: “There will certainly be differences, that’s normal. But I am sure they can be overcome and we can work out a good coalition agreement.” The big losers in the general election, the SPD Social Democrats are trying desperately to bridge deep divisions in the party. Many members are not happy with what they see as the SPD’s authoritarian leadership and the candidacy of Sigmar Gabriel, former environment minister, for the party chairmanship: Gabriel said, “I am the candidate for the leadership and all my colleagues who are candidates for other posts in the party are only candidates too.” The selection of prominent leftwinger Andrea Nahles, whom the steering committee agrees should be general secretary, is seen as a clear signal the SPD has begun its shift back to the left.