SPD denies 'green light' for new German government, but keeps options open

Martin Schulz's SDP has been under pressure to form an alliance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition and head off another electionMore

The interview was published as Mr Schulz denied reports that his party was ready to enter negotiations of forming a new coalition on Friday, and accused Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) of leaking false information to the media.

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.

Schulz told reporters Friday that they'd agreed to keep their discussions confidential, but that he was now prepared to discuss with his party's leadership on Monday all options, including re-forming a grand coalition.

"Regarding the formation of a new government, there was broad support for not ruling any option out", Schulz said at the SPD headquarters in Berlin.

Merkel stressed last week that Germany needed a stable government and invited Social Democrats for preliminary talks to form a conservative-left coalition government. Germany's Bild newspaper and the news agencies Reuters and DPA reported earlier on Friday that a deal had been reached to pursue the grand coalition option.


Merkel is facing the most serious political crisis since she assumed office 12 years ago after the breakdown of the government coalition exploratory talks on November 19.

Speaking after Schulz's statement, CDU chief executive Klaus Schüler said his party respected what the SPD chairman had to say and would wait for the Social Democrats to make a decision about whether to officially pursue talks. "As before, I remain sceptical that you can do that by carrying on "business as usual" in a grand coalition".

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options.

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

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