Germany’s Green Party agreed to enter formal talks with the center-left Social Democrats and pro-business Free Democrats about forming a three-way coalition government.
A large majority of the Greens’ 70 delegates voted at a party conference in Berlin on Sunday in favor of a motion to start talks, with just two no votes and one abstention.
FDP leadership is expected to approve the talks on Monday; the Social Democrats did already did so Friday.
Coming three weeks after Germany’s general election, which saw Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc slump to an historic defeat, the decision opens the door to Germany’s first so-called traffic-light coalition on the national level. The name refers to the colors of the three parties involved in the talks.
“We are writing Green history,” party co-leader Robert Habeck told delegates. on Sunday. “This is a turning point for our society.”
The leaders of the three parties managed to bridge their main differences in a first round of exploratory talks that wrapped up on Friday after about a week.
The deal includes the Greens’ proposal for major investments into climate protection measures, as well as the FDP’s demands to leave constitutional debt limits intact and not impose new taxes. The Greens also abandoned a push to limit speeds on the Autobahn.
The formal coalition talks, which could start as soon as this week, aim to resolve remaining issues, including the selection of cabinet members. The goal is to seal a coalition agreement between the three parties before Christmas.
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