German SPD Agrees to Talks with Angela Merkel’s Conservatives
Germany’s center-left Social Democrats agreed to enter into talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives about possibly forming a new government, according to a report Monday.
SPD leadership met Monday and unanimously decided on opening talks with Merkel’s Christian Democrats and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, Reuters reported.
The talks would examine all possibilities for building a government, including another “grand coalition” between the SPD and the conservatives or a Merkel-led minority government in which the SPD agrees to support her on certain issues.
The news comes after SPD leader Martin Schulz met with Merkel, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and CSU leader Horst Seehofer last week. At the time, Schulz said it was not “automatic” that talks would result in another “grand coalition,” reiterating that multiple options are on the table.
After receiving just over 20 percent in September’s general election, Schulz announced that the SPD would go into opposition and would not be available to form a government with Merkel’s conservatives. However, under pressure to reconsider after talks collapsed between the conservatives, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens, Schulz agreed late last month to consider coalition talks.
SPD members will vote on the issue later this week, as well as for their party leadership, at the national party congress in Berlin.
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