German Social Democrat not ruling out any options for new government

04 December, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • No German 'grand coalition' yet: SPD's Schulz

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the party leaders together after talks between Merkel's conservative bloc and two smaller parties to form a previously untried coalition collapsed.

He denied he had agreed to a re-run of the conservative alliance that has ruled Germany for the last four years and added that forming another such coalition was "not automatic".

After suffering its worst ever general election result, the SPD declared it would not reprise its role as junior partner to Merkel and wanted instead to rebuild in opposition.

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".

Merkel this week said she hoped to talk with the Social Democrats "in a serious, engaged, honest way and obviously with the intention of success".

FILE PHOTO: Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, November 27, 2017. Her attempts to form a three-way tie-up with the pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) and the Greens failed.


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.

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.

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

"We remain clear: the SPD's rejection of a continued grand coalition was mandatory and right", says the petition.

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.

"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.

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