Tue, Oct. 11, 2005

Merkel to Manage Coalition

CK - Washington.The Foundation Agreement for the Negotiations of a Coalition by CDU/CSU and SPD of October 10, 2005 gives CDU chief Angela Merkel the principal management role in the new coalition government. Any major changes in the changing the allocation of authority within the government will not depend solely on her but require negotations toward a new consensus. The coalition paper describes the distribution of departments among the parties as follows:

  • Chancellor: CDU
  • Vice Chancellor: SPD
  • Commerce, Technology: CDU/CSU
  • Interior: CDU
  • Defense: CDU
  • Family, Seniors, Women, Youth: CDU
  • Education, Research: CDU
  • Consumer Protection, Food, Agriculture: CDU
  • Foreign Office: SPD
  • Finance: SPD
  • Justice: SPD
  • Economic Cooperation, Development: SPD
  • Labor, Social Security: SPD
  • Health: SPD
  • Transportation, Construction, Housing: SPD
  • Environment, Nature Preservation, Reactor Safety: SPD
While the SPD will appoint a greater number of secretaries, the number of deputy secretaries will be evenly split amount the two blocks. The number of departments allocated to the CSU may vary from the above but in a grand coalition, the role of the CSU is greaty diminished and numerically irrelevant.

The paper identifies a few substantive understandings, including one on the simplification of the personal income tax system and on a tax holiday for bonus payments on Sunday, night and holiday work. The objectives pursued here are transparency, efficiency and fairness.

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