German Social Democrats inch toward Merkel coalition talks

German Social Democrats inch toward Merkel coalition talks

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 three party leaders discussed various options for forming a government, including a Merkel-led minority government, but they voiced scepticism about this option, said the party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity and on the condition the party not be named.

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.

"The majority (of the SPD) is against a new grand coalition", she told the General-Anzeiger and Rhein-Zeitung newspapers in an interview to be published Saturday.

"We have a lot of options for building a government".

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He said whoever circulated such reports was damaging trust. He had called the chancellor to complain about "inacceptable" leaks to the press, the Social Democrat leader said.

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The unusually testy tone Schulz struck is a reflection of the differences between conservatives and Social Democrats not just over the policies of a possible grand coalition, but whether even to try to form one at all. Her attempts to form a three-way tie-up with the pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) and the Greens failed.

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Another senior member of Merkel's Christian Democrat Union (CDU), Mike Mohring, said he was hopeful for an eventual grand coalition and expected a new government to be formed by March.

"We remain clear: the SPD's rejection of a continued grand coalition was mandatory and right", says the petition.

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.

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".

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