Germany's SPD: No decision on entering coalition talks

02 December, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Germany's SPD: No decision on entering coalition talks

The leader of Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) said on Friday he ruled out no option for forming a new government but stressed that a re-run of the outgoing "grand coalition" with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives was not a done deal.

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

The chairman said the SPD's executive committee would discuss various options on Monday, and make a proposal which would be discussed at SPD's party conference from December 7 to 9 in Berlin.

Ms Merkel is casting around for a coalition partner after her centre-right bloc shed support to the far right in a September 24 election and her attempts to form a three-way tie-up with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens failed.

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Schulz said he had telephoned the CDU leader to say that any such claims from her conservatives to the media would be viewed as "a breach of trust".

The SPD's top brass will then present their recommendation to party rank and file during their congress from Thursday.

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. "And the initiatives the French president has taken must not be answered with a constant "no" or with silence from Berlin", he said.

Schulz said a grand coalition was "not automatic" and that the SPD party convention would also discuss other alternatives.

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

Schulz previously opposed a "grand coalition" with the CDU/CSU, arguing that the election result meant voters had rejected the option of another grand coalition between the SPD and the CDU/CSU.

"Leading the opposition is the SPD's youth wing, which on Friday launched an internet campaign with a motto "#NoGroKo - for a clear and credible SPD".

If Merkel can't put together a coalition, the only options would be a minority government or a new election.

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Ultimately if our board says no, it wont happen, (but) I hope from a coaching point of view we can make this work. The New Zealand-born 26-year-old has yet to hear whether he will be charged by Avon and Somerset Police.

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".

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