Germany's SPD's Schulz Says He Hasn't Given Green Light for Coalition

02 December, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Diane Mills
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the 5th African Union- European Union summit in Abidjan Ivory Coast

Such an alliance between the country's two biggest parties has ruled Germany for the past four years and has continued in a caretaker capacity since an inconclusive general election in September. 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.

The SPD, which saw its participation in a Merkel-led coalition government from 2013-17 rewarded with its worst election result in German post-war history, had been strongly opposed to another "grand coalition".

Schulz was speaking after attending a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier late on Thursday that aimed to end political deadlock in Europe's largest economy.

The negotiations come in the wake of the "unprecedented" Germany's failure to form the so-called Jamaica coalition, paving the way for possible snap elections.

"We have several options for forming a government", he said.

"I can clearly deny the media report about me having given the green light for grand coalition negotiations".

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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".

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.

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

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.

Schulz said a grand coalition was "not automatic" and that the SPD party convention would also discuss other alternatives.

Germany's Bild newspaper and the news agencies Reuters and DPA reported earlier on Friday that a deal had been reached to pursue the grand coalition option.

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