Germany’s SPD Is Open to Talks on New Merkel Government

German Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz is ready to start talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and is prepared to offer her limited support for a fourth term, according to two people familiar with his plan.
Schulz intends to tell President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of his shift when they meet Thursday, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private conversations. Schulz could back Merkel in a minority government, but he won’t offer another grand coalition, one of the people said.
Steinmeier, a Social Democrat who twice served as Merkel’s foreign minister and challenged her for the chancellorship in 2009, is seeking to secure a stable government for Europe’s largest economy following the collapse Sunday of negotiations between Merkel’s party and three other groups. Schulz has consistently ruled out repeating the “grand coalition” that governed Germany for eight of the chancellor’s 12 years in office after leading his party to its worst result in more than half a century in September.
The president has urged parties to put responsibility to the nation ahead of their own interests, ratcheting up pressure on the SPD. The party is split between those on the left who see the two coalitions with Merkel as the main reason for the slump in its support and those who spy a chance to push through some of their key policies.

‘Good Solution’

Schulz told a German newswire he’s sure a “good solution” can be found. “The SPD is completely aware of its responsibilities in the current difficult situation,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoted him as saying on Wednesday.
Volker Kauder, the head of the CDU/CSU party caucus, told the Suedwest Presse newspaper there were signs of “movement” at the SPD.
“That creates a certain hope,” Kauder told the paper in an interview published Thursday. “The SPD now needs to discuss this internally, and their leader of course with the president. We are ready for any talks.”
However, Kauder appeared to pour cold water on the idea of a minority government. Merkel, ruling in a caretaker capacity since she emerged weakened from the election, has signaled she would rather face a new vote than govern without a majority.
“We have no tradition of minority government in Germany,” Kauder said. “If there is no other choice, this option will have to be used but making policy and day-to-day parliamentary business would be endlessly complicated.”
Many in the SPD would prefer to stay out of government to prevent the far-right Alternative for Germany, which entered parliament for the first time with 12.6 percent of the vote, from becoming the biggest opposition force.
The euro remained near the day high of 1.1839 against the dollar, up 0.1 percent, while the German DAX index of leading stocks was down 0.4%.
Germany’s SPD Is Open to Talks on New Merkel Government Germany’s SPD Is Open to Talks on New Merkel Government Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 01:19:00 Rating: 5