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Merkel rejects snap elections after failed talks

27 November, 2017, 02:02 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Merkel's party to meet with SPD in bid to break Germany's deadlock

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday she is opposed to new elections as her party struggles to cobble together a ruling coalition after inconclusive September elections.

But the SDP decided Friday to help resolve a deadlock in talks to form a coalition government, dropping its earlier refusal to consider governing with Merkel's conservatives.

Perhaps Merkel's optimism that a coalition could still be salvaged from the September election was due to a change in tune from the SPD.

Speaking at a CDU party conference in Kühlungsborn in Northern Germany, she said: "The people have voted".

Indications of a shift came when SPD General Secretary Hubertus Heil told reporters late Thursday that the party "is convinced that discussions must be held. the SPD will not rule out talks".

However, after the FDP backed out of preliminary talks - citing ideological differences - Germany's longtime leader has been left scrambling for a solution after two months without a new government.

"Ms Merkel is in no position to dictate terms", said the SPD's Malu Dreyer, premier of Rhineland-Palatinate state.

If the two sides can't reach an agreement by then, "the conservatives should aim for a minority government", Paul Ziemiak, head of the CDU youth, was quoted as saying by the Bild newspaper.

But with Europe's top economy facing prolonged political uncertainty after the collapse of the Jamaica talks, and with fears that snap polls would mainly benefit the far-right Afd (Alternative for Germany), Schulz caved to demands to soften his stance.

"But it smells like it (another grand coalition)", she said.

The decision will now fall to Germany's president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has the power to dissolve parliament and call an election or encourage Mrs Merkel to carry on her negotiations.

To that end, last week Merkel commented that she would be open to new elections instead of creating a minority government.

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