Merkel, rival meet German president amid gov't deadlock

Trevor Jackson
December 4, 2017

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat chief Martin Schulz said Friday they are ready to start talks on ending Germany's political deadlock, although they may not share the same idea on what shape any future co-operation would take.

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 CDU leader also said talks with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) would have to be conducted on the basis of mutual respect, and the compromise is part of it.

He said whoever circulated such reports was damaging trust.

With hopes of forming a majority government with former Free Democratic and Social Democratic parties still unclear and the opposition AfD now being the third biggest party in parliament, Angela Merkel may have to settle for a minority government or face snap elections.

The SPD's top brass will then present their recommendation to party rank and file during their congress from Thursday.

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Schulz insisted his party would continue to talk about all options, which could include tolerating a Merkel minority government, possibly in tandem with the Green party.

"The people have voted, and I absolutely do not favour, if we can't do anything with the result, asking people to vote again", Merkel said on Saturday at a party conference of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Kuehlungsborn, northeast Germany, Xinhua reported citing Focus Online. Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next.

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.

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is pushing for changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.

"Giving Emmanuel Macron a positive answer will be a key element in every negotiation with the SPD", Mr Schulz was quoted as saying in an interview on Friday.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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