1, December 2017
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer, and SPD Party leader Martin Schulz agreed during a meeting late on Thursday to enter into talks to find a way out of the recent political impasse in forming a coalition, a party official said on Friday.
The leaders of the three parties discussed various options for forming a coalition government, including a Merkel-led minority government, but they voiced skepticism about the latter option, said the party official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and on the condition the party not be named.
Merkel has been looking for a coalition partner after her center-right bloc lost support to the far right in Sept. 24 elections and her attempts to form a three-way tie-up with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens failed.
Public opinion also appeared to be behind the new sides opening talks, with a poll commissioned by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung showing 61 percent of Germans wanted the SPD to enter coalition negotiations with Merkel’s conservatives.
Spiegel weekly noted that Thursday’s meeting was crucial for the chancellor.
“For Merkel, it’s a fight for political survival that’s starting,” said Spiegel.
“Merkel must do everything to forge this alliance — the only one that would ensure stable power,” it added.