German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

It’s going to be a very long and weary negotiation before Germany produces a “Jamaica” (Black-Gold-Green) coalition involving CDU/CSU, Free Democrats, and Greens, Die Zeit reports this morning.

The three parties have now agreed to twelve major themes of negotiation, and have begun talks involving around fifty participants. One specific point of contention is the Free Democrats’ opposition to more bailouts of weaker European countries. The Green Party Europe expert, Franziska Brantner told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur, “This permanent fear that good German money is going to be sunk into a southern European juggernaut is downright paranoid,” in remarks directed at FDP chief Christian Lindner.

The likeliest outcome, I surmise, is that the Greens will be bought off with the prestigious but entirely unimportant Foreign Ministry, while the FDP will get the economics and finance portfolio. Germany has no foreign policy except to expand its export markets. The FDP has demanded interest rates that protect German savers, that is, an abandonment of the Draghi negative-interest policy, and the likelihood is that they will get it (Merkel’s longstanding economic adviser and Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann agrees).

Metabolizing the Greens into what would really be a Christian Democrat-Free Democrat coalition will require some negotiation, so we should expect little indication from Berlin until mid-November.