Merkel struggles to lure coalition partners back

SPD's Martin Schulz wants United States of Europe by 2025

The head of the political party SPD Martin Schulz denies the beginning of coalition negotiations with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.

After the election Schulz and other senior SPD officials were vehement that going into opposition was the only way to reconstruct his battered party. But President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made clear he doesn't want a new election and Schulz has reversed course.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) will do everything in their power to ensure that Berlin embraces the European ideas of French President Emmanuel Macron, SPD leader Martin Schulz said on Wednesday.

'Europe is our life insurance, ' said Schulz. "What is important is what we can implement".

"There are various, equally valuable ways in which we can contribute to forming a government in this country", Schulz said.

He also called for the creation of a European finance minister, who should fight tax evasion by reining in the race to the bottom in tax policy among member states.

The Social Democrats have been part of Germany's government for 15 of the past 19 years - twice joining a "grand coalition" under Merkel, from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2013 until now.

Schulz, who delivered his party's poorest result since the second world war in September elections, has become a potential kingmaker, but only after having rowed back from initially excluding a repeat of the conservative-SPD coalition that ruled Germany for the previous four years.

He said the renewal of the SPD can not be placed above the interests of the nation.



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