No deal yet on issues shaking up Germany’s ruling coalition
BERLIN (AP) — All-night talks failed Monday to break the political deadlock over a series of issues that threaten to divide German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition.
Scholz and several of his ministers flew to Rotterdam for long-planned talks with the Dutch government Monday, leaving unfinished business back home.
The talks, which started on Sunday, were meant to resolve disputes over plans to boost road building, reduce emissions in the transport sector, reform child benefits and encourage Germans to replace home heaters with greener models.
Many of the issues have pitted the environmentalist Greens, who control the Economy and Energy Ministry, against the libertarian Free Democrats, who hold the finance and transport portfolios.
Last-minute efforts by the Free Democrats to prevent a complete ban on combustion engine vehicles in Europe as of 2035 have rekindled simmering disputes between the two parties over Germany’s transition toward a carbon-free economy.
Scholz, a Social Democrat, has faced criticism for failing to force through compromises.
But Scholz’s spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit, insisted that all is well.
“The government runs and functions,” he told reporters in Berlin, adding that the talks would end with “a good result, but it will take as long as it takes.”
Speaking later from the Netherlands, Scholz said the governing parties had made “very, very good progress” but the trip to Rotterdam was “a nice break.”
Negotiations were set to resume Tuesday.