Germany's SPD denies agreeing coalition talks with Angela Merkel

02 December, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Germany's Merkel will enter talks with Bavarian ally, SPD to find coalition partner: official

Schulz met Merkel and Horst Seehofer, the leader of the chancellor's Bavarian allies, on Thursday night for talks hosted by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier aimed at breaking Germany's post-election political deadlock.

However, SPD party leadership announced that it would give a formal recommendation on how to proceed to its members by Monday.

Schulz had originally vowed to return to the opposition benches with his party following their poor performance in September's federal elections and only recently softened his position when "Jamaica" coalition talks between the CDU, CSU, Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Greens (Gruene) collapsed. "This is simply wrong", Schulz said, adding that the report appeared to be based on sources within Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc.

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".

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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.

"We have many options for forming a government".

Meantime, she continues to head a caretaker government made up of her conservatives and the Social Democrats. "The fact that we underlined today that we are prepared to enter such talks with the SPD shows that we're aiming to bring these talks to a successful conclusion".

The youth branch of the SPD is organising a petition which rejects a third grand coalition under Merkel and advocates that the centre-left should tolerate a Christian Democrat minority government instead.

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SPD leader Martin Schulz told Spiegel magazine that he would insist on a far-reaching reform of the European Union (EU) and German social policy.

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

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".

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