Back together: on Germany coalition deal

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Back together: on Germany coalition deal

 The decision of the conservative(अपरिवर्तनवादी/रूढ़िवादी) Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to form a new coalition government is no surprise. Since the emergence of the CDU’s Angela Merkel as German Chancellor in 2005, both have cohabited (साथ रहना) in a coalition for eight years. After the two parties registered their worst showing in the September 2017 general elections, they lost whatever little appetit (भूख/चाव) remained to rule together. The SPD had declared it would stay in the opposition, rebuild (पुनर्निर्माण करना) the weak organisation and re-establish (पुन: स्थापित करना) its core left-wing identity. The latest arrangement is a result of political pragmatism (व्यवहारवाद/उपयोगितावाद) and a willingness (स्वेच्छा/तत्परता) to accord primacy to the national interest, despite ideological (विचारधारा/विचार-मूल का) differences. Germany had come close to calling another election after the conservatives failed to reach an understanding with the greens and the liberals (उदारवादी/स्वार्थहीन आदमी) late last year. That meant a minority government was the only alternative, one that did not appeal either to Ms. Merkel or her party. Inexorably(निर्दयता/नृशंसता), there was a rethink. The process was helped by a common concern within the CDU and the SPD, namely, the risk of ceding space to the deeply eurosceptic, anti-immigrant and extreme-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which surprised everyone by winning almost 13% of the vote.
The wider implications (उलझाव/फंसाव) for the European Union of the political stasis in Germany had also begun to weigh on the continent’s leaders. Some voiced the wisdom of revisiting the grand coalition (मेल/गठबंधन)proposal. The alliance now being stitched up is cause for at least some cheer, if not celebration. But there isdisillusionment (मोहभंग/निराशा) in both party camps that far too much has been conceded to the other party in the recent talks. The SPD has bagged six ministries, including finance. This has annoyed fiscal hawks among the conservatives, who are against Berlin loosening its purse strings to prop up ‘profligate (भ्रष्टाचरण/चरित्रहीन)’ eurozone member-states. The coalition’s agreement on greater spending on schools, pensions and infrastructure draws heavily upon SPD programmes. This is likely to find public favour, given Germany’s huge budget surplus and the need to boost domestic consumption (खपत/उपयोग). But there is a flip side to the pragmatic compromise the parties have struck to safeguard the political middle-ground. This is the risk that voices of dissent could veer to the extremes. Surveys indicate that the AfD’s vote share in September had less to do with its political appeal than with dissatisfaction with the state of affairs. In any case, the coalition is not yet a done deal. The joint programme must first be approved by SPD delegates (प्रतिनिधियों/नियुक्त करना) in a party referendum. The divisions within the party over SPD leader Martin Schulz’s possible induction as Foreign Minister may forebode (भविष्य बतलाना) turbulent (अशांत/उपद्रवी)time ahead.

Important Vocabulary:

1.Cohabited(साथ रहना)
Synonyms: conjugate, couple, mingle, be roommates with, have relations
Antonyms: disjoin
2.Inexorably(निर्दयता/नृशंसता)
Synonyms: ferociously, fiercely, mercilessly, relentlessly, ruthlessly
Antonyms:gently, humanely, kindly, nicely
3.Pragmatism(व्यवहारवाद/उपयोगितावाद) 
Synonyms: advantage, advantageousness, advisability, benefit, convenience
Antonyms:disadvantage, inappropriateness
4.Consumption(खपत/उपयोग).
Synonyms: drinking, expenditure, utilization, burning, damage
Antonyms: building, construction, creation, development, enlargement
5.Forebode(भविष्य बतलाना)
Synonyms: presage, augur, betoken, bode, divine
6.Liberals(उदारवादी/स्वार्थहीन आदमी)
Synonyms: beatnik, bohemian, demonstrator, dissenter, dissident
Antonyms: conformist, orthodox
7.Profligate(भ्रष्टाचरण/चरित्रहीन)
Synonyms: promiscuous, degenerate, libertine, reprobate, wanton
Antonyms:gentle, moral, careful, good, nice

Credit to The Hindu News Paper

The decision of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) to form a new coalition government is no surprise. Since the emergence of the CDU’s Angela Merkel as German Chancellor in 2005, both have cohabited in a coalition for eight years. After the two parties registered their worst showing in the September 2017 general elections, they lost whatever little appetite remained to rule together. The SPD had declared it would stay in the opposition, rebuild the weak organisation and re-establish its core left-wing identity. The latest arrangement is a result of political pragmatism and a willingness to accord primacy to the national interest, despite ideological differences. Germany had come close to calling another election after the conservatives failed to reach an understanding with the greens and the liberals late last year. That meant a minority government was the only alternative, one that did not appeal either to Ms. Merkel or her party. Inexorably, there was a rethink. The process was helped by a common concern within the CDU and the SPD, namely, the risk of ceding space to the deeply eurosceptic, anti-immigrant and extreme-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which surprised everyone by winning almost 13% of the vote.
The wider implications for the European Union of the political stasis in Germany had also begun to weigh on the continent’s leaders. Some voiced the wisdom of revisiting the grand coalition proposal. The alliance now being stitched up is cause for at least some cheer, if not celebration. But there is disillusionment in both party camps that far too much has been conceded to the other party in the recent talks. The SPD has bagged six ministries, including finance. This has annoyed fiscal hawks among the conservatives, who are against Berlin loosening its purse strings to prop up ‘profligate’ eurozone member-states. The coalition’s agreement on greater spending on schools, pensions and infrastructure draws heavily upon SPD programmes. This is likely to find public favour, given Germany’s huge budget surplus and the need to boost domestic consumption. But there is a flip side to the pragmatic compromise the parties have struck to safeguard the political middle-ground. This is the risk that voices of dissent could veer to the extremes. Surveys indicate that the AfD’s vote share in September had less to do with its political appeal than with dissatisfaction with the state of affairs. In any case, the coalition is not yet a done deal. The joint programme must first be approved by SPD delegates in a party referendum. The divisions within the party over SPD leader Martin Schulz’s possible induction as Foreign Minister may forebode a turbulent time ahead.
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