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German coalition negotiations hinging on immigration policy: media

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-01-12 10:19
German Chancellor and head of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives at the headquarters of the German Social Democrats (SPD) for the conclusion of preliminary coalition talks on Jan 11, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. [Photo/VCG]

BERLIN - Negotiators of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its sister party Christian Social Union (CSU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) still have to settle their different political views on many key issues, German media reported Wednesday.

However, unlike the failed "Jamaica" negotiators, the parties are accustomed to working with each other and first agreements are within reach, reports added.

SPD leader Martin Schulz said before the talks on Wednesday here that it would be a long day. Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) underlined, "We still have a lot of work ahead of us."

The Union and SPD want to conclude the negotiations on Thursday. The working groups are negotiating "very, very intensively," said CSU General Secretary Andreas Scheuer.

One of the main topics will be the issue of family reunification of refugees. SPD politician Burkhard Lischka proposed a compromise of around 40,000 newcomers. This corresponds to the number of visas issued for relatives of Syrian refugees over the past years, German newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reported Wednesday.

Family reunification is suspended for refugees with limited protection status, which affects many Syrians, until mid-March. The Union demands continued suspension, while the SPD does not.

According to information from negotiators published by the Bild newspaper, family reunification will be permanently suspended for immigrants with limited protection status. The report states that the SPD negotiated a generous rule for extreme cases, the details of which still need to be clarified.

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