Coalition with Merkel not automatic, all options open: Germany's SPD

Меркель і Шульц провели перші коаліційні переговори

Germany's Merkel will enter talks with Bavarian ally, SPD to find coalition partner: official

After his party's disastrous result in the September 24 election Schultz had ruled out forming another so-called grand coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, like the one that has governed Germany for the last four years.

Speaking at a news conference after a key party executive meeting in Berlin, Martin Schulz sharply criticized Christian Democrats for leaking information to the media, after a crisis summit hosted by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday.

Merkel's party stressed however that was it was seeking is a renewal of its alliance with the SPD, to form a "stable government" for Europe's biggest economy.

The SPD, which saw its participation in a Merkel-led coalition government from 2013-17 rewarded with its worst election result in German post-war history, had been strongly opposed to another "grand coalition".

"There was a broad consensus about not closing down any options concerning the formation of a new government", Schulz told reporters.

In a Facebook Live appearance, Schulz mentioned other possible options for the next government, including a minority administration and a coalition that would include the conservatives, the SPD and the Greens. We should talk about each of these options.

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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.

Meantime, she continues to head a caretaker government made up of her conservatives and the Social Democrats.

"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.

A rebellion is already brewing over entering into a new grand coalition, known as "GroKo" in German.

"Germany's European politics must change", Mr Schulz, a former president of the European parliament, told the magazine.

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