Analysis of the Coalition Agreement How Merkel's New Government Intends to Govern

The agreement on how to govern Germany over the next four years runs to some 124 pages. The coalition deal that Chancellor Merkel and FDP leader Guido Westerwelle finally agreed to over the weekend has provoked fury from the opposition. SPIEGEL ONLINE took a look at exactly what it contains.

Delegates read copies of the coalition contract during an extraordinary party convention of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) in Berlin on Sunday.
REUTERS

Delegates read copies of the coalition contract during an extraordinary party convention of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) in Berlin on Sunday.

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Germany has a new government after the coalition partners hammered out a deal on how it intends to govern over the next four years. Following tough negotiations lasting three weeks Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) finally emerged on Saturday with a coalition agreement.

FDP leader Guido Westerwelle described the deal as a great "foundation for our country." Merkel, who leads the Christian Democrats (CDU), said that she was happy with the agreement and that the parties were anticipating a bright future. Horst Seehofer, leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) also pronounced himself pleased with the final agreement.

The focus of all this back-slapping is a 124-page document, entitled: "Growth. Education. Solidarity" and it is already polarizing the country, with the opposition slamming its content.

"A grandiose false start," was the conclusion of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the parliamentary floor leader for the Social Democrats, who served as foreign minister and vice chancellor in the previous grand coalition government with Merkel's conservatives.

Gregor Gysi, floor leader of the far-left Left Party, said the document revealed a "coalition of social division, trickery and neo-liberal denationalization." Green Party leader Claudia Roth described the agreement as "unsocial, unaffordable and hopeless," while her party colleague Steffi Lemke spoke of a "contract of lies," that sins against future generations.

So what is true? SPIEGEL ONLINE has sifted through the agreement to see what it really contains and to examine how exactly the new coalition of the CDU/CSU and the FDP plans to govern Germany.

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