Вторник, 12 Декабря, 2017

Germany: Angela Merkel rejects snap elections after failed talks

Martin Schulz's SDP has been under pressure to form an alliance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition and head off another electionMore Martin Schulz's SDP has been under pressure to form an alliance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition and head off another electionMore
Andrew Cummings | 04 Декабря, 2017, 01:06

Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz on Friday denied an earlier report that his party was ready to start grand coalition talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Conservatives Union, but kept the options open.

Schulz, Merkel and her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer agreed to meet at Germany's presidential palace to explore the possibility of forming a so-called grand coalition like the one that makes up the outgoing government.

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.

If Merkel can't put together a coalition, the only options would be a minority government or a new election. Such an alliance, between the country's two biggest parties, has ruled Germany for the last four years and remains in office in a caretaker capacity following September's general election.

Even if the two sides do agree to continue, they'll first have to negotiate the prerequisites for coalition talks, then carry out the coalition talks themselves, meaning it will likely be several months before a new government is formed.

Читайте также: Currie out as UT AD

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options. "As before, I remain sceptical that you can do that by carrying on "business as usual" in a grand coalition".

"We have a lot of options for building a government". Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next. Merkel has said in the past she does not want to lead a minority government.

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

However, Schulz softened the stance on Friday as he said his party was willing to hold talks with the Union.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Schulz said the SPD backed French President Emmanuel Macron's call for closer eurozone integration, including a new finance minister for the currency bloc - ideas that face resistance from conservatives.

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