Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) is ready for coalition talks following the falter of the so-called Jamaica coalition talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) alliance, the Free Democratic Party and The Greens, the Die Welt newspaper reported Friday citing party’s leadership.
Previously, Martin Schulz, the leader of German social democrats, repeatedly ruled out the participation of his party in a government led by Angela Merkel as the junior coalition partner and reiterated his willingness to hold snap elections. However, the political chaos in the country seems to have forced Schulz to reconsider his stance on the matter.
The news comes after the leader of the FDP Christian Lindner announced that his party had withdrawn from the the talks on the formation of the coalition government. Given the refusal of the SPD to enter the so-called grand coalition with Merkel’s union and the fact that no party is willing to cooperate with the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), the third most powerful party in the parliament, the only remaining options for the CDU/CSU are either a minority government with The Greens or a new election.
Amid the unfolding political crisis in the country, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has held talks with the leadership of various parties urging them to avoid the new parliamentary election. Following talks with the president, the SPD held a meeting on Thursday night, after which SPD Secretary-General Hubertus Heil announced that the party was ready for talks and, thus, the formation of a government with Merkel’s bloc has become possible, the Die Welt newspaper reported.
As for the other options, ex-President of the Bundestag from the SPD Wolfgang Thierse and the chair of SPD’s Basic Values Commission Gesine Schwan suggested to SPD head Martin Schulz and SPD faction head Andrea Nahles the formation of a government with The Greens and Merkel’s bloc, the so-called “Kenya” coalition, according to a letter published by the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.