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Germany's ruling parties address labour, migration divisions

BERLIN — Germany’s governing parties are trying to put behind them long-running internal divisions ahead of this year’s European Parliament election, but the results could deepen tensions in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union leads an uneasy “grand coalition” with the centre-left Social Democrats, who are trying to reverse a slump in poll ratings.

The Social Democrats’ leadership Sunday endorsed a package of proposals aimed at revamping divisive labour market reforms the party introduced 16 years ago, as well as calling for a hefty rise in Germany’s minimum wage and a right to work at home.

Separately, new CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was holding a “workshop” Monday to discuss migration policy, a hot-button issue since Merkel allowed in large numbers of migrants in 2015.

The Associated Press

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