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SPD votes in favour of negotiating with Merkel and avoiding new elections

German Social Democrat leader defends "United States of Europe" at first party congress after electoral defeat

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SPD votes in favour of negotiating with Merkel and avoiding new elections

German social democracy has parked its party interests in interests of country's governability. The SPD has supported proposal of its leader to enter into negotiations with Chancellor's party, Angela Merkel (CDU), with a view to formation of a government in Germany and has also supported with a large majority of votes leadership of Martin Schulz. The 600 delegates gared at a crucial federal Congress held in Berlin allow Schulz to negotiate with Merkel, without excluding option of forming a new great coalition, as party's executive called for and rejected SPD youths.

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The reluctance to republish an alliance as with one y ruled so far with Merkel's conservative bloc (2005-2209 and 2013-2017) and that such bad results have been reported to m is still remarkable. But pressure up for weeks for SPD to come to an understanding with party of Chancellor, in order to avoid new elections and first European economy finally to walk and form a government two and a half months after some Eleccio That Merkel won, but without a majority enough to set up an executive. A minority government with punctual support is anor of options that SPD shuffles, with idea of avoiding a repetition of elections, of which electorate would probably blame m. Schulz is now free to negotiate "constructively" and "without preconditions", although any government agreement should be ratified by militants.

The delegates also voted for continuity of Schulz as president of party, despite electoral bump of September. 81.9% of votes obtained, a result at first sight a great success, contrasts however with enthusiasm that in March exalted Schulz as a leader of SPD with 100% of votes.

Schulz has endeavoured in this Congress to change way and replace debate over great coalition yes or no by one of great ideas and content. In a passionate speech of more than an hour, Schulz called for a new beginning for his party, a "United States of Europe" protected by a Constitutional Treaty and support for delegates to sit down and negotiate with Chancellor without preconditions. "The important thing is not to govern at any price." "The key is results we achieve [for citizens]," he said. "The important thing is content and not form." But in speeches of delegates and in halls, re was nothing else to talk about. Groko Yes or Groko NO ( acronym of Great Coalition, in German) is dilemma that haunts party.

Schulz's words made it clear that this is an introspective Congress in which SPD seeks to renew itself and forge a new identity that allows it to reconnect with voters. "The loss of confidence in politics is a general problem, but it affects social democracy in a special way," Schulz acknowledged. He also recalled that his party has lost 10 million votes in last 20 years, which means half of its electorate. "What is decided here can mark political end of this party", estimate sources of SPD which observe with concern drift of its parties brors in countries like Greece, France or Holland. "Those responsible for party's situation are neir Merkel, nor Great coalition, nor neo-liberalism, nor media." "Responsibility is ours," remarked Schulz, who also apologized for his failure.

Pro-European discourse

Europe, great absent in German election campaign has moved to forefront in social democratic discourse. "We are a European party." "It is Europe that can regulate globalization," Schulz estimated. It defended a "solidarity Europe" and not "of banks and multinationals". The President of parliament said that EU needs a European minimum wage that avoids dumping between countries, a europresupuesto and a euroministro of finances. and called for a "United States of Europe" for year 2025, with a European constitutional contract to protect a federal EU. "This constitutional contract must be submitted to Member States and those who do not approve it shall automatically leave EU."

This is first Congress of party after electoral bump of September. With 20.5% of votes, SPD reaped its worst result since 1949. A monumental political challenge has been added to loss of votes, which has ended up fracturing German social democracy. After attempt to form a tripartite government in Germany-conservative, Green and Liberal-a pact between CDU of Merkel, winner of elections, SPD became only mamatically viable option to form government. It was most feared scenario for Social Democrats, who aspired to rebuild in opposition and who had promised ir militants and voters that under no circumstances would y cohabit with Merkel in a large coalition.

The lack of reasonable options and pressure that up both in Germany and from or European countries, has forced SPD to reconsider its position and this predicament is precisely one that aired this Thursday in federal Congress to which party came Divided. "The important thing is policies and wonder if we can change anything from a great coalition." If answer is yes, we will do it, "explains this diary Niels Annen, member of SPD executive.

A split party

Part of SPD left wing and party youths (Jusos) do not yield in ir opposition to Groko. They are convinced that defeat of September will be nothing compared to fall that will suffer at polls if y join with Chancellor big, which y consider able to capitalize on ir own and foreign achievements. "For democracy, it is necessary for large parties to have differentiated positions." If not, in end only extreme right will be strengned, "says Katharina Andres, vice president of Jusos.

At or end, most conservative wing of SPD, headed by influential circle of Seeheim, calls for responsibility to a party that has in its hand key to governability of Germany. They believe that only with a stable government agreement will y be able to exert a real influence on lives of citizens. And in middle, probably majority of a militancy condemned to decide between plague and cholera.

The process is projected to be dilated. Party sources explain that time that is expected to last talks is crucial for militancy to overcome resistance and for defense of specific policies to gain plot of ground in face of institutional and structural debate.

With adoption of initiation of talks with Merkel, difficult negotiations will soon begin, with SPD going with a battery of conditions that can justify its supposed political sacrifice. A decisive pro-european policy that goes through a deep reform of eurozone as macron advocates is one of conditions. Investing in social and health policies is anor requirement of proposal that is being voted on Thursday. Schulz has advanced red lines anticipating frictions in event of a possible great coalition being negotiated. Among m, to fix a stop to entrance of refugees as defends conservative bloc CDU/CSU.

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