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Germany's SPD denies agreeing coalition talks with Angela Merkel

02 December, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Germany's Merkel will enter talks with Bavarian ally, SPD to find coalition partner: official

After his party's disastrous result in the September 24 election Schultz had ruled out forming another so-called grand coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, like the one that has governed Germany for the last four years. Merkel's conservative bloc and the SPD lost support in that vote, while an anti-immigrant party surged into parliament, seriously complicating the coalition arithmetic.

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.

Angela Merkel faces demands for sweeping European Union reform and further integration as the price of a new coalition government in Germany, it emerged on Friday.

"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.

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".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference

"What I can tell you is that we discussed the situation at the SPD party board meeting intensively. The way that erroneous reports are circulated destroys trust".

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.

On Friday, her party reiterated that stance, with the CDU's Klaus Schueler saying after a telephone conference of the party leadership: "The CDU is ready to hold serious talks with the SPD to build a stable government".

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.

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