Merkel rejects snap elections after failed talks

27 November, 2017, 01:59 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • GETTYMacron championed a'new Europe with a united army and elected president

Merkel's partners in the outgoing government, the center-left Social Democrats, initially refused to consider a repeat but said Friday they're open to holding talks.

"I am absolutely not convinced that, if we can do nothing with the result, we should ask people to vote again", the center-right Christian Democratic Union leader said at a local party conference.

Negotiations "should be viewed as failed" if there is no deal by Christmas and the conservatives should instead aim for an unprecedented minority government, the resolution said.

Leading SPD politicians however signalled they were ready to flex their muscles. Two of Merkel's three terms to date have been in such a coalition.

The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has stepped in to try to solve the crisis, putting particular pressure on the SPD - his party - to change its mind about a grand coalition.

Angela Merkel
GETTYAngela Merkel's humiliating failure to form a coalition government in Germany could end Europe

But with Europe's top economy facing prolonged political uncertainty after the collapse of the Jamaica talks, and with fears that snap polls would mainly benefit the far-right Afd (Alternative for Germany), Schulz caved to demands to soften his stance.

After four years ruling together with the CDU and receiving its worst ever results in the federal vote, the SPD announced that it had no intention to enter into another grand coalition and would prefer to remain an opposition voice in the Bundestag.

Mr Lindner told reporters: "It is better not to govern than to govern badly".

Steinmeier is scheduled to meet with Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and CSU leader Horst Seehofer Thursday.

A "Jamaica" coalition would have "shattered into a thousand pieces within months", he added, given the parties' differing views on everything from migration to climate protection to eurozone reforms.

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