Germany's SPD: No decision on entering coalition talks

German coalition talks: SPD not in a rush to partner up with Angela Merkel again

2nd LD Writethru: German SPD denies approval for grand coalition talks, but keeps options open

The leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) Martin Schulz leaves after a joint meeting with Horst Seehofer, the head of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and Chancellor Angela Merkel, hosted by the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Schloss Bellevue in Berlin, Germany, November 30, 2017.

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.

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

Other options apart from a grand coalition include a minority conservative government - which the SPD could support on a case-by-case basis, or fresh elections. The FDP chose 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. "The way that erroneous reports are circulated destroys trust".

"We should discuss all of these options and that is what I will recommend to the party leadership Monday". A resolution should then be formed at the party congress in the coming week.

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. Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next.

"We need a different Europe and the initiatives that the French president has suggested should not be given a "no" from Berlin or left unanswered", he said, referring to Macron's ideas of creating a new eurozone finance minister position and giving the 19-member zone its own budget.

Germany's new government is still in vacancy after the September 24 federal elections and the exploratory talks between the Union, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens broke down on the night of November 19.

"Giving Emmanuel Macron a positive answer will be a key element in every negotiation with the SPD", Schulz was quoted as saying in the interview made available on Friday, adding that he also backed a joint European Union tax policy.

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