Merkel's party to meet with SPD in bid to break Germany's deadlock

Nov 27, 2017, 00:55
Merkel's party to meet with SPD in bid to break Germany's deadlock

The parties' leaders will meet at Steinmeier's official residence in Berlin to discuss "the situation after the breakdown of the coalition talks".

Germany's biggest opposition party is debating whether to begin talks with Angela Merkel on a minority government or a coalition, offering a way to restore political leadership in Europe's biggest economy. "The SPD is deeply convinced there should be discussions", Hubertus Heil, the party's general secretary, told reporters Friday.

"If there is no coalition agreement between the conservatives and SPD by then, the negotiations will be seen as having failed", the Junge Union said in Bild am Sonntag.

Mr Schulz, 61, had refused to consider continuing in coalition with Mrs Merkel after his party's poor election showing but the possibility of another "grand coalition" between Germany's two oldest parties is now revived.

European leaders have stressed the importance of Germany getting its political house in order ahead of the European Council summit in December.

If Merkel can't put together a coalition, the only options would be a minority government or a new election, months after the September 24 vote.

She said she would pursue a grand coalition and an Emnid poll released yesterday showed that 52 per cent of Germans backed a grand coalition.

Welcoming the prospect of talks with her former partner, Merkel defended the record of the last coalition.

Even before any talks get under way, the two blocs have started to outline their policy priorities.

Speaking in Kuehlungsborn in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Merkel said Germany's politicians had a responsibility to work with the September results.

"If there is a grand coalition or even if there is toleration (of a minority government) I would expect more emphasis on the SPD's program", Clemens Fuest, president of the Ifo institute, told business newspaper Handelsblatt. "There will not be a grand coalition at any price", he said.

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