Merkel set for 3rd round of coalition talks with Social Democrats

October 15, 2013 6:18 am
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 Protesters wearing masks of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, stage a rally against social injustice, in Berlin, on October 14, 2013/AFP
Protesters wearing masks of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), Sigmar Gabriel, stage a rally against social injustice, in Berlin, on October 14, 2013/AFP

, Berlin October 15- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives announced that they plan to hold a third round of talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Thursday about the possibility of forming a coalition government.

After eight hours of closed door discussions in Berlin between representatives of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the SPD, CDU secretary general Hermann Groehe said a formal decision on more talks would be made later Tuesday.

That decision will follow meetings earlier in the day with the Greens, another possible coalition partner.

After all talks are completed, the Conservatives, led by Chancellor Merkel, will decide which party to work with in a bid to form a coalition.

That decision is expected by the end of the week.

If, as appears most likely, the CDU chooses the Social Democrats as their preferred partner the latter will decide at a meeting of some 200 delegates on Sunday whether to accept the offer of coalition negotiations.

A recent poll showed two thirds of Germans would favour a left right ‘grand coalition’ between the two big parties, Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats.

Despite a convincing win at the polls on September 22 , Merkel needs to form an alliance with either the Social Democratic Party (SPD) or the Greens to ensure a majority in parliament.

Monday’s CDU SPD talks were the second round of negotiations between the rival parties expected to form the kind of grand coalition which Merkel led between 2005-2009.

Groehe assured that the make up of the next government would be announced by October 22, within a month of the elections.

If a ‘grand coalition’ takes shape, the SPD has said it will push for a national minimum wage to help the country’s growing army of working poor.

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