Merkel allies try to appease fuming SPD ahead of German coalition talks

No German 'grand coalition' yet: SPD's Schulz

GERMAN Social Democratic Party leader Martin Schulz said yesterday that his party is considering backtracking on its pledge not to enter another "grand coalition" with Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, with internal discussions due to be held next week.

"The reports are plainly and simply wrong", said the SPD leader, Martin Schulz, after claims in the German newspaper Bild that the two parties had agreed to begin exploratory talks on a new coalition following a meeting with the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on Thursday.

The CDU board had agreed that the party was ready to conduct "serious talks" with the SPD on the formation of a government.

After suffering its worst ever general election result, the SPD declared it would not reprise its role as junior partner to Merkel and wanted instead to rebuild in opposition.

Mr Schulz told reporters yesterday that he would discuss all options, including selling off his party's very recently acquired principles on a coalition, with SDP leaders on Monday.

He said that the SPD leadership's decisions early in the week would be presented to other party members during a meeting next Thursday and Friday for approval.

"I can clearly deny the media report about me having given the green light for grand coalition negotiations".

"We have a lot of options for building a government". A resolution should then be formed at the party congress in the coming week.

The SPD executive will debate all options, a minority government or a grand coalition again with the Union.

"The decisive question is what do we want to implement, what can we implement - for example in the renewal of the European Union", Schulz said.

According to Schulz, the key demands of his party are a need to reform the European Union, improve healthcare, as well as the European Union and answer French President Emmanuel Macron's Eurozone reform proposals positively.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine, Schulz said the SPD backed French President Emmanuel Macron's call for closer eurozone integration, including a new finance minister for the currency bloc - ideas that face resistance from conservatives.

Related news: