Germany's SPD spells out coalition conditions but no decision until party conference

02 December, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Germany's Merkel will enter talks with Bavarian ally, SPD to find coalition partner: official

It was their worst-ever election performance in post-war German history, and many Social Democrats blamed the compromises the party made as part of the grand coalition that has governed Germany for the past four years.

Merkel is casting around for a coalition partner after her centre-right bloc shed support to the far right in the 24 September election.

Party leader denies he agreed to start talks on new government with Merkel.

Schulz was speaking after attending a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier late on Thursday that aimed to end political deadlock in Europe's largest economy. "This is simply wrong", Schulz said, adding that the report appeared to be based on sources within Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc.

Schulz told reporters Friday that they'd agreed to keep their discussions confidential, but that he was now prepared to discuss with his party's leadership on Monday all options, including re-forming a grand coalition.

He added that whoever circulated such reports was damaging trust.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference

Schulz insisted his party would continue to talk about all options, which could include tolerating a Merkel minority government, possibly in tandem with the Green party.

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, has said he wants changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.

"We need a different Europe and the initiatives that the French president has suggested should not be given a "no" from Berlin or left unanswered", he said, referring to Macron's ideas of creating a new eurozone finance minister position and giving the 19-member zone its own budget.

On Friday, her party reiterated that stance, with the CDU's Klaus Schueler saying after a telephone conference of the party leadership: "The CDU is ready to hold serious talks with the SPD to build a stable government".

Germany's Bild newspaper and the news agencies Reuters and DPA reported earlier on Friday that a deal had been reached to pursue the grand coalition option.

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