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German parties show united front amid fears of coalition collapse



The meeting was held after disastrous European election results and the shock resignation of the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD).

Andrea Nahles’ departure earlier this month prompted speculation the centre-left party could pull out of Germany’s governing alliance.

Parliamentary leaders from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the SPD are determined to make the work of the coalition a success, Alexander Dobrindt of the CSU said after the meeting.

The officials agreed steps to improve mobile network coverage in Germany, including by creating a new federal body for mobile infrastructure to construct phone towers in unserviced regions.

“Spots without mobile reception do not fit with our aspiration to be one of the leading economies of the world,’’ a paper adopted at the meeting said.

The parliamentary leaders also agreed to seek to improve the situation in the nursing care sector through higher salaries and less bureaucracy, and to start abolishing the solidarity surcharge a tax introduced at the time of German reunification.

Ralph Brinkhaus, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s conservative bloc, spoke of harmonious talks with “a lot, of consensus.’’

Rolf Muetzenich, one of the three interim SPD leaders, said that a mid-term review of the coalition would likely be conducted at the end of the year.


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