Four weeks after their election victory, Germany’s winning parties are close to dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s on a coalition.Marathon negotiations, including talks into the small hours last night in Berlin, have left Chancellor Angela Merkel on the brink of a deal with the pro-business Liberals. She and the Liberal leader Guido Westerwelle slipped out of a side door, leaving a CDU collegue Christian Wulff to face the cameras. “This is the big objective of the government: to lead Germany out of the economic crisis as soon as possible, and to ensure that the rules on the country’s debt limits are respected,” he said. Top of the agenda are foreign policy, nuclear energy and healthcare. But it is thought the politicians have solved the problem of how to offer promised tax cuts while keeping Germany’s budget deficit under control.