German Social Democrat not ruling out any options for new government

04 December, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the 5th African Union- European Union summit in Abidjan Ivory Coast

Merkel's chief of staff Peter Altmaier has ruled out any forms of cooperation in parliament with the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) less than two weeks after the Free Democratic Party (FDP) pulled out of coalition talks and with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz saying he hasn't yet given the green light for a coalition with Merkel's conservative union and the allied Greens.

Merkel's expressed skepticism about the latter two possibilities, and following an appeal from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Schulz agreed to meet with the chancellor and CSU leader Horst Seehofer on Thursday night to talk about the various possibilities.

If Merkel can't put together a coalition, the only options would be a minority government or a new election.

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. "We have many options".

Martin Schulz, the leader of the rival Social Democrats (SPD), told an interview with Spiegel magazine he would insist on deeper integration as a condition of joining any new government under Mrs Merkel. "As before, I remain sceptical that you can do that by carrying on "business as usual" in a grand coalition".

"Whoever circulates false reports destroys trust", he said.

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Merkel told the party conference that she wants to "come quickly to a government", adding that Germany must have a stable government, "but also a government that really advances the country".

He said that the SPD leadership's decisions early in the week would be presented to other party members during a meeting next Thursday and Friday for approval.

After the party convention of the SPD in the coming week, the CDU will discuss the way forward, according to Klaus Schueler, federal manager of the CDU.

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is pushing for changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.

In particular, he said he would demand German support for Emmanuel Macron's proposals for a Brussels-based finance minister and single budget for the Eurozone.

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