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German Social Democrats inch toward Merkel coalition talks
December 18 2017, 02:52 | Irvin Gilbert
No German 'grand coalition' yet: SPD's Schulz
The interview was published as Mr Schulz denied reports that his party was ready to enter negotiations of forming a new coalition on Friday, and accused Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) of leaking false information to the media.
In a Facebook Live appearance, Schulz mentioned other possible options for the next government, including a minority administration and a coalition that would include the conservatives, the SPD and the Greens.
Both the SPD and CDU/CSU weakened in September's poll, and many in the SPD have blamed their poor showing on the party's membership in the previous coalition.
Sources in the SPD said all options would be discussed - ranging from a re-run of the grand coalition with the conservatives to new elections.in Europe's largest economy.
Germany's Bild newspaper and the news agencies Reuters and DPA reported earlier on Friday that a deal had been reached to pursue the grand coalition option.
Speaking after Schulz's statement, CDU chief executive Klaus Schüler said his party respected what the SPD chairman had to say and would wait for the Social Democrats to make a decision about whether to officially pursue talks. "We should discuss all of these options and that is what I will recommend to the party leadership Monday". Schulz fronts a party which is split evenly down the middle on what he should do next.
Merkel's camp said the ball was in the SPD's court.
According to Schulz, the key demands of his party are a need to reform the European Union, improve healthcare, as well as the European Union and answer French President Emmanuel Macron's Eurozone reform proposals positively.
Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is pushing for changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.
"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".