SPD set to decide on 'grand coalition' talks with Merkel at party convention -

SPD set to decide on 'grand coalition' talks with Merkel at party convention

Credit: dw.com

  • Dec 07 2017 17:10About: 8 days ago
  • 15 views

Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz apologized for his party's historically poor election results on Thursday as his party was poised to vote on whether or not to enter into another "grand coalition" with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

"I would ask you all…for forgiveness for this bitter defeat," said Schulz, speaking at the SPD's convention in Berlin.

The SPD is expected to vote later on Thursday whether or not it wants to approach the CDU for preliminary coalition talks.

All eyes were on the Social Democrats as Germany racks up 74 days without a new government. The September 24 vote left the country's two biggest parties — the CDU and SPD — take a tumble in the polls after four years of ruling together in a grand coalition.

Both ahead of an immediately after the election, Schulz and the SPD scoffed at the notion of governing with the CDU again. Schulz told Spiegel that it would be an act of "self-sacrifice" to be coalition partners.

Merkel, wary of forming a minority government with the CDU's 32.9 percent of the vote, initially approached the smaller Green party and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) to build a three-pronged coalition.

However, a few weeks into preliminary talks those negotiations broke down when the FDP pulled out of the discussion.

Watch video 02:25

German SPD holds party conference

SPD under pressure

Since then, the SPD has been under increasing pressure both domestically – and from European allies – to join the CDU in an effort to avoid fresh elections or a minority government.

Some in the SPD, especially the youth wing Jusos, are steadfastly against such a move, preferring to have a voice as the main opposition party. There are also concerns that being in a grand coalition made the SPD indistinguishable from the CDU in voters' eyes, leading to the party's 20.5 percent result in September's federal vote.

Schulz wanted the party to take sole responsibility for the poor showing, saying "neither Ms. Merkel nor the grand coalition…are responsible for the state of the SPD."

'United States of Europe' by 2025

During his speech on Thursday, Schulz also called for establishing a "United States of Europe" within the next seven years.

"Why don't we decide ... to realize these United States of Europe by 2025 at the latest?," he said, adding that new union would have powers over foreign policy, taxes and domestic security.

Schulz, a former head of the European Parliament, also said EU member states that refused to ratify the treaty establishing the union would be forced to leave the bloc.

The head of the CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt, immediately criticized Schulz's proposal.

Someone who wants the end of nation states in the next seven years and "throw out member states that do not bow to this demand must be called a European radical," he said. Europe, he added, works "only as a team project and not as a campaign against those who are of a different opinion."

amp, es/ng (dpa, Reuters, AFP)



Follow Us on Twitter

Party leader Martin Schulz opened event with apology partys worst-ever election results. plans hold vote entering preliminary talks Chancellor Angela Merkels later day.

Related stories with SPD set to decide on 'grand coalition' talks with Merkel at party convention

Al Qaeda condemns Trump's Jerusalem move, calls for 'action'  -World News
Al Qaeda condemns Trump's Jerusalem move, calls for 'action' 8 days ago
Islamist militant group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has condemned the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and called on militants to close ranks to support Palestinians.
Liqui Moly the Exclusive Lubricant for Moto2 and Moto3 -World News
Liqui Moly the Exclusive Lubricant for Moto2 and Moto3 8 days ago
Liqui Moly is the official lubricant supplier to all Moto2 and Moto3 teams. This fully-synthetic 5W40 street-race lubricant was selected and performance tested by HRC Japan, consequently instructed as the exclusive oil in all Moto2/3 competition machines
Tug powers into Storm Caroline's huge waves -World News
Tug powers into Storm Caroline's huge waves 8 days ago
Video filmed yesterday (December 6) on board the SD Resourceful tug on the River Clyde in Scotland as Storm Caroline approaches.
Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo -World News
Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo 8 days ago
Wear gets an under-the-hood OS update, but the user-facing features won't change much.
First Venom Banners Pop Up at Brazilian Comic Con -World News
First Venom Banners Pop Up at Brazilian Comic Con 8 days ago
Tom Hardy stars in the October 5, 2018 release The post First Venom Banners Pop Up at Brazilian Comic Con appeared first on ComingSoon.net.
Podcast: Julian Ryder and the MotoGP riders' rider of 2017 -World News
Podcast: Julian Ryder and the MotoGP riders' rider of 2017 8 days ago
MCN Sport reporters Simon Patterson and Oli Rushby sit down with special guest Julian Ryder to discuss his career in Grand Prix racing and his riders' rider of 2017 - a secret ballot to decide who the...
HNA Group Contemplating Asset Sales as Debt Crisis Grows -World News
HNA Group Contemplating Asset Sales as Debt Crisis Grows 8 days ago
HNA Group has stakes in Hilton, NH Hotels, and owns Carlson Hotels outright. With debt costs rising, might it look to offload some of these hospitality assets? -Patrick Whyte
EU to sue Poland, Hungary and Czechs for refusing refugee quotas -World News
EU to sue Poland, Hungary and Czechs for refusing refugee quotas 8 days ago
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are taken to the European Court of Justice over migrant quotas.
Lindsay Lohan Pleads With Rachel McAdams to Consider 'Mean Girls' Sequel -World News
Lindsay Lohan Pleads With Rachel McAdams to Consider 'Mean Girls' Sequel 8 days ago
The 2004 cult classic will get a second go-around if the girl behind Cady Heron has any say. Continue reading…
Le Québec Veut Dire Au Revoir à «Hi» et Salut à «Bonjour». -World News
Le Québec Veut Dire Au Revoir à «Hi» et Salut à «Bonjour». 8 days ago
L’Assemblée Nationale du Québec vient d’adopter une motion qui appelle les commerçants à accueillir leurs clients par “Bonjour,” plutôt que “Bonjour, Hi.”
Canadians net worth surges almost 15% in four years, but our biggest asset is also our biggest debt -World News
Canadians net worth surges almost 15% in four years, but our biggest asset is also our biggest debt 8 days ago
On the bright side almost 30% of Canadian families are debt-free
The Latest: GOP: We have enough votes for short-term budget -World News
The Latest: GOP: We have enough votes for short-term budget 8 days ago
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 11:15 a.m. The drama over whether the House will pass legislation preventing a weekend partial government shutdown is essentially over. The conservative House Freedom Caucus