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

02 December, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Germany's SPD spells out coalition conditions but no decision until party conference

"The decisive question is what do we want to implement, what can we implement - for example in the renewal of the European Union", Schulz said.

Merkel, her own political future on the line after 12 years at the helm, is making overtures to the center-left SPD - her partner in government over the past four years - after her bid to form a three-way coalition with two smaller parties failed.

In a sign of the ongoing friction between Schulz and Merkel's bloc that may make negotiations hard, he blamed the Bild report on a leak from her side and said he had telephoned her Friday to say it was "unacceptable".

Speaking after Schulz's statement, CDU chief executive Klaus Schüler said his party respected what the SPD chairman had to say and would wait for the Social Democrats to make a decision about whether to officially pursue talks. "The way that erroneous reports are circulated destroys trust". "We should discuss all of these options and that is what I will recommend to the party leadership Monday".

"Regarding the formation of a new government, there was broad support for not ruling any option out", Schulz said at the SPD headquarters in Berlin.

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

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Merkel's camp said the ball was in the SPD's court.

"A positive answer to (the reform proposals of French President) Emmanuel Macron will be a core element of any negotiation with the SPD", the SPD leader said. Steinmeier and Merkel are both keen to prevent the need for re-elections, leaving a re-launch of the acting "grand coalition" between the CDU/CSU and SPD as the only plausible alternative.

"The way for a grand coalition has been paved", Mohring told Reuters after taking part in a teleconference where Merkel had briefed the federal board of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) on Thursday night's talks with Schulz and the president.

Other possible options for the SPD include backing a minority government led by Merkel, and Schulz himself had sent a tweet saying that "it is possible that the country ends up with a constellation that it has never seen in its (post-war) history".

"Germany's European politics must change", Mr Schulz, a former president of the European parliament, told the magazine.

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