Coalition with Merkel not automatic, all options open: Germany's SPD

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Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat chief Martin Schulz said Friday they are ready to start talks on ending Germany's political deadlock, although they may not share the same idea on what shape any future co-operation would take.

Merkel's expressed skepticism about the latter two possibilities, and following an appeal from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Schulz agreed to meet with the chancellor and CSU leader Horst Seehofer on Thursday night to talk about the various possibilities.

The chairman said the SPD's executive committee would discuss various options on Monday, and make a proposal which would be discussed at SPD's party conference from December 7 to 9 in Berlin.

"The people have voted, and I absolutely do not favour, if we can't do anything with the result, asking people to vote again", Merkel said on Saturday at a party conference of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Kuehlungsborn, northeast Germany, Xinhua reported citing Focus Online. "We have many options".

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options.

Merkel and Erdogan also spoke about the importance of cooperating against terror groups, including Kurdish rebels and agreed to increase discussions once a new German government is formed.

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The unusually testy tone Schulz struck is a reflection of the differences between conservatives and Social Democrats not just over the policies of a possible grand coalition, but whether even to try to form one at all.

However, several leading Social Democrat politicians have supported a coalition or are backing a minority CDU/CSU government.

After the party convention of the SPD in the coming week, the CDU will discuss the way forward, according to Klaus Schueler, federal manager of the CDU.

Firmly denying that an agreement had been reached on opening negotiations on a grand right-left coalition, Schulz said that all options remained on the table.

"Giving Emmanuel Macron a positive answer will be a key element in every negotiation with the SPD", Schulz was quoted as saying in the interview made available on Friday, adding that he also backed a joint European Union tax policy.

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