Germany's SPD denies agreeing coalition talks with Angela Merkel

Germany's SPD denies agreeing coalition talks with Angela Merkel

Germany's SPD denies agreeing coalition talks with Angela Merkel

"This is simply wrong", Schulz said after the German newspaper Bild reported that the two parties had agreed to start talks on a new grand coalition after a meeting with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday. "We should discuss all of these options and that is what I will recommend to the party leadership Monday".

Merkel is casting around for a coalition partner after her centre-right bloc shed support to the far right in the 24 September election.

Her efforts to create a three-way government with the liberal FDP and Greens failed after weeks of negotiations following the election.

Martin Schulz insisted on Friday that various options for forming a government were still on the table. "The way that erroneous reports are circulated destroys trust".

Commenting on the SDP's possible coalition with the Conservatives, Schulz has stated that it is not "automatic", adding that the party would discuss alternatives at a meeting next week.

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

Ahead of that congress, which will also decide whether to re-elect Schulz as chief of the SPD, the party's top brass has been careful to tread softly regarding its options.

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"It's now up to the SPD to provide clarity", said CDU manager Klaus Schueler.

"The fact that we underlined today that we are prepared to enter such talks with the SPD shows that we're aiming to bring these talks to a successful conclusion", he added.

Friends of Germany and Europe around the world have been breathing a sigh of relief at the newfound willingness of Germany's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats (SPD) to discuss reprising their grand coalition government.

"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.

"Berlin can not perpetually answer suggestions from the French president with a no", he said.

"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.

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