Coalition with Merkel not automatic, all options open: Germany's SPD

03 December, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Germany

The interview was published as Mr Schulz denied reports that his party was ready to enter negotiations of forming a new coalition on Friday, and accused Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) of leaking false information to the media.

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.

In a Facebook Live appearance, Schulz mentioned other possible options for the next government, including a minority administration and a coalition that would include the conservatives, the SPD and the Greens.

After his party's disastrous result in the September 24 election Schultz had ruled out forming another so-called grand coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, like the one that has governed Germany for the last four years. "As before, I remain sceptical that you can do that by carrying on "business as usual" in a grand coalition". "We have many options".

Officials from Erdogan's office said during Thursday's talk Merkel promised she would work toward expediting European Union funds earmarked to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options.


Ahead of that congress, which will also decide whether to re-elect Schulz as chief of the SPD, the party's top brass has been careful to tread softly regarding its options.

Another senior member of Merkel's Christian Democrat Union (CDU), Mike Mohring, said he was hopeful for an eventual grand coalition and expected a new government to be formed by March.

"It's now up to the SPD to provide clarity", said CDU manager Klaus Schueler.

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is pushing for changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.

In particular, he said he would demand German support for Emmanuel Macron's proposals for a Brussels-based finance minister and single budget for the Eurozone.

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