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Schulz conditions government pact with Merkel on eurozone reform

The leader of the German SPD denies that it has given the green light to a large coalition with the CDU and maintains that there are still many options to form government

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Schulz conditions government pact with Merkel on eurozone reform

The leader of German Social Democratic Party (SPD), Martin Schulz, has put European policy and, more specifically, reform of euro area, as a requirement in negotiations to enter into a possible government coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU. Schulz has pointed out this Friday to German week Der Spiegel, that "key requirement" for negotiations with CDU is to support a reform of eurozone as proposed by Macron, according to Reuters. The SPD leader has denied that he has given green light to a large coalition with CDU and has argued that this is not automatic and that re are many or options to avoid new elections.

These are first statements by Schulz following meeting held on Thursday night with Merkel and German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who ended up without any statements from any of parties. It was first time since election that it won without a majority enough Merkel that two large German blocs — Christian Democratic Bloc (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) — were called to same table, under mediation of Steinmeier, after SPD He swore for months, that before he died he would repeat government again with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This Thursday was a meeting without more images than those of entry and exit of politicians to Palace of Bellevue, which has lasted a little more than two hours, at end of which re have been no statements. The idea is to blur and new account and to leave previous promises to achieve a rapprochement that could culminate in reissue of a large coalition — center-right and center-left — like one that has governed Germany for eight of last 12 years. Berlin still has no government and EU awaiting political impulse of Union's de facto leading power.

Three leaders in low hours

The meeting of Bellevue Palace is three leaders in full struggle for ir political survival. Schulz attends appointment at presidential palace touched. Because of its electoral debacle and because voices within SPD that, at moment in a low voice, question wher it is right person to achieve Social Democrat comeback grow. Something similar happens to Merkel, to which right wing of his party accuses him of having centered CDU in excess and to have given too much ideological ground to extreme right (alternative by Germany, AFD). To Thursday meeting also goes Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavarian Christian Social Union, Bror Party of CDU of Merkel. The respite of Seehofer is expected at any time, while power struggle around its succession is narrated by deliveries se days in German press.

And it is also first time after a sounding run-in this week on account of glyphosate that has broken fragile rapprochement between two great German parties. The EU renewed at beginning of week license of controversial herbicide in part thanks to unexpected vote in favour of Germany. The German Minister of Agriculture (CDU) was demarced on his account of agreed abstention with environment (SPD). Merkel came out to apologize and admonisheded her minister, but damage was already done. The SPD leader, Andrea Nahles, felt that "confidence has been broken."

Being so, neir show great enthusiasm for a cohabitation that has garnered political and economic achievements, but whose protagonist parties have been punished in ballot box by voters. Partly also because of that, because SPD Great Coalition has reported its worst election result since 1949, appetite of a Groko bis is very limited. And also partly because of that, problem is more of partisan strategy than of content incompatibilities.

The problem is that re are not many more alternatives. If attempt of a great coalition fails, Merkel should rule in a minority – an option that in principle does not contemplate considering it to be a source of instability – or elections should be repeated. Celebrating new elections would have to wait almost until next summer for Berlin to have government, at a time when European capitals expect impatient that new tenant of German Chancellery finally embarks on Anunciadísima Refoundation of EU.

At moment, all options are open. And in se political times laden with uncertainty, what in Berlin one day seems impossible, next becomes a viable option. Proof of this is how path of a minority government, hirto unthinkable, suddenly begins to gain support in Democratacristianas ranks. The CDU's Economic council asked Chancellor on Thursday to "seriously consider" option of a minority government. More and more voices fear party of Merkel, that demands of SPD to form government suppose a disbursement in excessive social expenditure, to detriment of innovation and digitization of country. Many social Democrats also see a minority government with good eyes, which would allow m to get rid of stigma of great coalition without being held responsible for a repeat election.

What it does seem clear is that Germans and Europeans must be patient in face of a negotiating process that is dilated. Representatives of CDU estimated a few days ago that if all goes well, it is most likely that CDU and SPD feel to really negotiate in January. In any case, social democratic leader, Martin Schulz, should wait for his party's Congress next week before making any decisions. Once a possible grand coalition agreement has been achieved, SPD leader will submit it to approval of party's bases.


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