Ahead of negotiations on the formation of Germany’s new coalition government, the conservative Christian Democrats have been debating who will get what job. Angela Merkel is to be chancellor, with the Social Democrats reportedly securing the foreign affairs, finance, health and employment portfolios. “I think it is a fair deal,” said conservative deputy leader Wolfgang Bosbach.
“The Social Democrats have made sure they have enough seats not to be outvoted in the government, but ours are also important ministries dealing with issues in need of reform.” The Social Democrats also began internal talks, knowing that while Gerhard Schroeder was forced out of power, the party retains great influence over the pace of economic reforms. “It is not an ideal situation,” said Social Democrat party executive Kurt Beck. “We hope to be able to form a stable government, however.” The coalition deal broke a deadlock after inconclusive elections on September 18.