• Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Merkel urges compromise at start of tough coalition talks

  • Published at 04:28 pm October 3rd, 2021
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at a ceremony as part of the 31st anniversary of Germany's Unification Day, in the city of Halle on October 3, 2021 Reuters

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and their candidate Olaf Scholz narrowly won last Sunday's vote

Outgoing German chancellor Angela Merkel made an implicit call on politicians to overcome their differences on Sunday, as talks between parties to choose her successor got under way following last week's close election.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and their candidate Olaf Scholz narrowly won last Sunday's vote on 25.7%, with Merkel's conservative CDU-CSU alliance plunging to an all-time low of 24.1% as she prepares to leave the stage after 16 years in power.

The result leaves the SPD in pole position to form a government, but conservative leader Armin Laschet has also vowed to begin coalition talks in a last-ditch effort to keep the ailing CDU-CSU in power.

Speaking in front of party leaders at celebrations in Halle to mark German reunification in 1990, Merkel said the country once again had the opportunity to "shape" its next chapter.

"We can argue over exactly how in the future, but we know that the answer is in our hands, that we have to listen and speak with each other, that we have differences, but above all things in common," Merkel said, in clear reference to negotiations at hand.

In the complex calculations for a coalition, the makeup of the next German government essentially hinges on which of the two main parties can persuade the Greens and the liberal FDP to sign up for a partnership.

The SPD will first huddle with the FDP on Sunday afternoon to kick off their coalition discussions, before speaking with the Greens in the evening, in what weekly magazine Der Spiegel magazine has described as the "poker game for power."

Their rivals, the CDU-CSU, will meet with the FDP on Sunday evening and the Greens on Tuesday.

'Historic defeat'

The Social Democrats have discovered new momentum since snatching the close electon win. 

A poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday showed that 28% of the public would vote SPD if the election were rerun, up 2% from the election itself. The conservative bloc meanwhile lost 3% points.

Some 76% of respondents said they thought Scholz should be the next German chancellor, with just 13% backing Laschet.

In an interview with Der Spiegel on Friday, Scholz said it was "clear from every poll that people don't want the (CDU-CSU) to be part of the next government."

"The election result is clear. The CDU and CSU have suffered a historic defeat and have been voted out," he said.

Ahead of the talks, FDP leader Cristian Lindner, whose party is closer politically to the CDU than the SPD, put pressure on the conservatives, calling on them to clarify whether they "really" wanted to govern in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag. 

But the conservatives are not giving up, with Markus Blume, general secretary of the CSU, insisting on Friday that a conservative-led coalition "has a chance."

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail