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Coalition aims to get back to business after unsettled summer of disputes

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Coalition aims to get back to business after unsettled summer of disputes
Volker Kauder, leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Andrea Nahles, national chairman of the SPD, and Alexander Dobrindt, chairman of the CSU state group in the German Bundestag, speak after a co
11:26 CEST+02:00
Germany's grand coalition wants to regain its footing after the Union's unprecedented asylum dispute and launch a series of improvements for millions of citizens this autumn.

At a meeting in the Chancellery on Tuesday, the leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD agreed on a series of social policy issues, including reducing contributions from tax payers on the unemployment benefit and on a pension package, which should be finalized on Wednesday in the cabinet.

In September, projects for more affordable housing as well as better day care for families and a skilled workers immigration law are likely to be taken forward.

On Wednesday, Union Leader Volker Kauder (CDU) said the decisions were made after fours hours of deliberations. He said: "We have agreed on a larger package and by doing this, we also show that we can govern in this country."

SPD party and faction leader Andrea Nahles spoke of a “real breakthrough” in essential social policy issues.

She said: "With this we have created more security for many millions of people in Germany."

CSU Country Group Chief Alexander Dobrindt emphasized relief for employees, in view of good tax revenues.

For weeks until the beginning of July, an asylum dispute between the CDU and CSU had caused a dramatic government crisis.

Minister of Social Affairs Hubertus Heil (SPD) said with regard to pensions and the labour market: "We managed to achieve this together. The coalition is capable of acting.”

The pension package includes improvements for mothers, as well as enhancements for people with disabilities. It is also intended to relieve low-income workers.

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