Ahead of September Election, German Parties Stake out Positions

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Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition staked out their positions ahead of September’s election.

This happened at a meeting that stretched into the early hours of Thursday morning and that underlined the differences between the parties.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU) allies along with their junior coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), signed off on issues that were largely not a source of contention between them.

Among the 11 proposals that the three parties agreed to at the six-and-a-half-hour meeting in Berlin was a draft law banning marriages for children under the age of 16.

However, the coalition partners failed to reach agreement on a slew of other issues that are likely to define their election campaigns in the coming months.

This included the SPD’s call for tougher rules for manager’s pay and its push for Germany to join the 13 other European Union states that have accepted same-sex marriage by proposing a new “Marriage for All” law.