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German Social Democrat not ruling out any options for new government

04 Декабря 2017

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has invited Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and CSU leader Horst Seehofer for a meeting next week to discuss another "Grand Coalition".

Germany, Europe's political and economic powerhouse, has been struggling to build a new government since a September 24 national election. The FDP made a decision to withdraw the talks with the Greens, the CDU and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), for a new coalition government after the September 24 federal elections.

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.

The chairman said the SPD's executive committee would discuss various options on Monday, and make a proposal which would be discussed at SPD's party conference from December 7 to 9 in Berlin. "As before, I remain sceptical that you can do that by carrying on "business as usual" in a grand coalition".

The message is "simply wrong", said Martin Schulz at a press conference at the SPD headquarter.

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Schulz said he had telephoned the CDU leader to say that any such claims from her conservatives to the media would be viewed as "a breach of trust". By contrast, Steinmeier - himself a former SPD leader - is known to favor the grand coalition option. We should talk about each of these options. Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next. A resolution should then be formed at the party congress in the coming week.

Mr Schulz told magazine Der Spiegel Germany needed to change its Europe policy as a party source said the SPD would hold talks with Ms Merkel's conservatives in a bid to end political deadlock.

Turkish officials say President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the two countries try to fix frayed ties. "The fact we underlined today that we are prepared to enter such talks with the SPD shows that we're aiming to bring these talks to a successful conclusion".

Earlier on Friday, SPD politicians said they would not be rushed into joining a new grand coalition.

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".

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German Social Democrat not ruling out any options for new government