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15.12.2017 18:43 News >> Germany: Spd Set For More Coalition Talks With Merkel

Germany: Spd Set For More Coalition Talks With Merkel

Executive committee approves continued exploratory talks with Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc to form government.

Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) decided on Friday to continue talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU bloc to form a coalition government.

SPD leader Martin Schulz told a news conference in Berlin that the party's executive committee unanimously approved the continuation of exploratory talks, following Wednesday's first meeting between the party leaders of the SPD, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and the Christian Social Union (CSU).

"We would like to see how we can contribute to the formation of a stable government," he said, underlining that these talks would be conducted in an "open-ended" way, not necessarily meaning the SPD would certainly become part of a coalition government.

Schulz said the Social Democrats had formed a 12-member commission to carry out exploratory talks with the Conservatives, and party leaders would meet next Wednesday for the next round of talks.

While Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc long advocated a stable "grand coalition" government, the SPD leaders did not rule out other forms of cooperation, such as supporting a Merkel-led minority government, rather than joining a coalition government.

Merkel's CDU and its sister party CSU emerged as the largest bloc in the parliament Bundestag following September's federal election, but they failed to secure an absolute majority.

Coalition talks between the CDU/CSU alliance, the Free Democratic Party, and the Greens failed last month after weeks of negotiations.

Schulz previously opposed a repetition of the "grand coalition" of the previous term, blaming it for his party's losses in the Sept. 24 election.

Both the SPD and CDU/CSU emerged weakened in September's poll, and many in the SPD have blamed their poor showing on the party's membership in the previous coalition.

Although Merkel's bloc is still the biggest group in parliament, it needs the support of either the SPD, which is the second largest group in the Bundestag, or two smaller parties to form a government. -



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