German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats sealed a deal Wednesday on a new coalition, media reported, potentially ending four months of political standstill in Europe’s top economy.
Der Spiegel, public broadcaster ARD and the daily Bild each said the parties had ironed out their final differences and were ready to sign an agreement for Merkel’s fourth term.
German news agency DPA, which cited unnamed participants, said that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, and the center-left Social Democrats, achieved a breakthrough on the division of ministries.
It said that, following an all-night session, the three parties still have to work through a relatively short list of disagreements before reaching a final agreement.
Any deal won’t bring an immediate end to the political limbo following Germany’s September 24 election.
An agreement will need to be put to a ballot of the Social Democrats’ more than 460,000 members. Many of them are skeptical after the party’s disastrous election result, which followed four years of a “grand coalition” with the party serving as junior partner to Merkel’s conservatives.