German opposition warns of 'pointless' Parliament
BERLIN - The Associated Press
German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel and CDU parliamentary floor leader Volker Kauder (L) talk prior to a constitutional meeting of the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, in Berlin, October 22, 2013. REUTERS photoGermany's newly elected Parliament meets for the first time Tuesday amid concerns that a planned left-right coalition government would have so many seats it could steamroll any opposition.
A "grand coalition" currently being negotiated between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats would have almost 80 percent of the seats in the lower house.
Legal experts have pointed out that such a coalition would ensure the ruling parties have the two-thirds majority needed to change the German constitution.
The opposition Left Party and Greens would also lack the 25 percent of votes needed to launch parliamentary investigations.
Left Party leader Gregor Gysi told rbb-Inforadio on Tuesday that unless minority rights were guaranteed in some way there would be little point in lawmakers holding debates.