Poll: Germany’s Greens overtake FDP

Reuters FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Germany’s environmentalist Green party polled at its highest level this year in a survey published on Sunday, overtaking Chancellor Angela Merkel’s other would-be coalition partner as talks to form a new government continued.

An coalition agreement would see Merkel extend her 12-year spell at Germany’s helm, during which she has helped avoid a collapse of the eurozone and cemented her country’s position as the bloc’s economic powerhouse.

Merkel must bring together the Greens, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and her own conservative bloc to secure a majority, with sticking points including immigration caps, whether to end coal production and increasing defence spending.

The poll published by German daily Bild put the Greens at 11 percent, up by one percentage point from a week earlier, while the FDP fell by the same amount to 10 percent. It will have no direct bearing on coalition talks, but gives the Greens some bragging rights in terms of their negotiating.

The Greens are calling for abandoning coal as a source of energy in Germany, an objective shared by thousands of demonstrators who marched in Bonn on Saturday but opposed by the FDP.

“If Germany wants to meet its climate protection goals, an exit from coal is necessary,” Anton Hofreiter, one of the leaders of the Green’s parliamentary party told Reuters on Sunday.Speech

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