Germany's SPD's Schulz Says He Hasn't Given Green Light for Coalition

  • Germany's SPD's Schulz Says He Hasn't Given Green Light for Coalition

Germany's SPD's Schulz Says He Hasn't Given Green Light for Coalition

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.

Steinmeier, a former SPD lawmaker and foreign minister, will host a meeting at 1900 GMT on Thursday between Merkel, her Bavarian conservative ally Horst Seehofer and Schulz as part of his efforts to facilitate the formation of a stable government.

Both the SPD and CDU/CSU weakened in September's poll, and many in the SPD have blamed their poor showing on the party's membership in the previous coalition.

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.

Malu Dreyer, an SPD member and premier of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, said she was sceptical the SPD could agree a "convincing, substantive proposal" with conservatives.

"It's not automatic that there will be a new grand coalition", Schulz told reporters in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference

Officials from Erdogan's office said during Thursday's talk Merkel promised she would work toward expediting European Union funds earmarked to help Syrian refugees in Turkey. "We should discuss all of these options and that is what I will recommend to the party leadership Monday".

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options. Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next.

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

After the party convention of the SPD in the coming week, the CDU will discuss the way forward, according to Klaus Schueler, federal manager of the CDU.

"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.

"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.