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article imageKey moments in Germany's political stalemate

By AFP     Feb 7, 2018 in World

Germany on Wednesday achieved a breakthrough after the longest period of political limbo in its post-war history, since an inconclusive general election in September.

Here are the key dates in the battle to set up a stable government for Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth term:

- Election -

September 24, 2017: Germany holds a general election which Merkel's Christian Democrats win but with a historically low score, depriving them of a clear ruling majority.

The second-place Social Democrats (SPD) also see their support plummet, while the far-right Alternative for Germany party scores nearly 13 percent, winning its first seats in parliament.

- Caretaker government -

October 22, 2017: Merkel's previous right-left "grand coalition" with the SPD becomes a caretaker government.

- Coalition talks -

November 20, 2017: Talks to build an alliance between Merkel's conservative bloc, the liberal Free Democrats and the ecologist Greens collapse in acrimony.

January 7, 2018: Negotiations begin to mount a new "grand coalition" -- the third under Merkel following her 2005-2009 and 2013-2017 terms.

- Coalition deal -

February 7, 2018: Parties reach a deal for a new coalition.

Early March: The SPD is to publish the result of a yes-or-no referendum by the SPD's 440,000 rank-and-file members on the coalition deal. If they approve it, Merkel can be officially elected chancellor for a fourth term by a majority of MPs.

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