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January 23, 2018

Current German
Government Administration

            The newest
German coalition’s attempt at forming a new government has been a long
controversial road. In November, the three main parties (CDU, SPD, and CSU)
couldn’t come to an agreement on the last coalition that they were trying to
form known as Jamaica. Since then, they have recently come to an agreement to
form a coalition, but definitely haven’t come to an agreement on “sticky points.”
In the previous attempt to form a coalition, it was mainly the SPD that couldn’t
come to an agreement. In December, just after forming the newest coalition, the
SPD drew up eleven different points that they deemed most important to be a
part of the new government. These various points were set up to be discussed
and didn’t necessarily mean that it was a must for the SPD to get every single
one of these points in the next government. Despite the attempt to be entirely
tranquil in discussing the various topics, conflict arose between the parties,
especially the issues about immigration.

            Immigration
was a very sticky topic for all three of the main parties. The CDU was led by
Federal Interior Minister Thomas De Maizière and Hesse Governor
Volker-Bouffier; Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and party General-Secretary
Andreas Scheuer are leading the CSU. While the SPD is headed by Ralf Stegner
and Eva Högl. By January 10, it was clear that the parties were having trouble
coming to agreement on two different topics: refugees being granted asylum in
Germany to bring their immediate family members to the country; and the upper
limit on the number of refugees allowed to come to Germany each year. These are
rather sticky topics because both the CSU and the SPD feel really strongly
about their opinions on these respective topics. The CSU wants to continue to
block refugee family reunification and make a 200,000 per-year-cap on the sheer
amount of refugees allowed into the country.

 

Then
things took an interesting turn. The members of the working group met in party
head Schulz’s office at SPD headquarters — but only five of them. Scheuer
wasn’t among them, an omission that was very clearly intentional.

            

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