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Germany’s SPD wants to start coalition talks this week By Reuters


© Reuters. After the first exit polls in Berlin for general elections, September 26th, 2021, Olaf Scholz, top Social Democratic Party candidate, waves. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) -Germany’s Social Democrats, who narrowly won Sunday’s national election ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, said on Tuesday they hoped to talk to the Greens and Free Democrats later this week about forming a three-way government.

Both the Greens (and the FDP liberal, which are very different on many issues in Blending chalk with cheese: building a German government), have indicated that they will talk to each other first about potential areas of compromise, before they start negotiations with the Social Democrats or conservatives.

Rolf Muetzenich from the SPD, the leader of the parliamentary party, said he was happy for the parties’ efforts to settle their differences. But he would still like to meet this week with the partners in any three-way coalition.

Muetzenich stated that he would like the Greens and FDP to also meet with him this week in exploratory talks.

Olaf Scholz was the candidate to be the SPD’s first chancellor after Merkel assumed power in 2005.

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“I am optimistic. Scholz stated on Twitter that he was optimistic about building a coalition of pragmatic people who are willing to work together.

Armin, his conservative opponent, stated that he was still open to forming a government even though he led his CDU/CSU bloc in their worst national election result.

Bavaria’s Christian Social Union leader Markus Soeder told an internal meeting that conservatives need to give up, N-TV, a German broadcaster, reported.

N-TV stated that Soeder is not optimistic about the possibility of a CDU/CSU coalition with the Greens. However, the SPD would likely succeed in building a alliance.

Anton Hofreiter was the Greens joint parliamentary leader. Hofreiter told parliament that there was a lot of work ahead.

Hofreiter stated that he believed the Greens could build trust and come up with common solutions.

Infratest Dimap conducted an opinion poll for ARD TV. 62% wanted Scholz to be the next chancellor, compared with just 16% who wanted Laschet. 55% favor a “traffic-light” coalition consisting of SPD, FDP, and Greens – referring to their respective party colours.

Merkel, who didn’t seek another term as chancellor in 2017, will be the caretaker for coalition negotiations which will decide Europe’s biggest economy.

SPD, Germany’s oldest party won 25.7%, an increase of 5 percentage points over the 2017 federal election, and ahead of CDU/CSU’s conservative bloc at 24.1%. FDP had 11.5% and 14.8% respectively, the Greens were second.

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