Angela Merkel has been unable to form a working coalition government since Germany went to the polls on September 24 with both the SPD and Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) as well as its sister party the CSU losing support.
After the collapse of forming a Jamaica coalition in a three-way coalition with two smaller parties failed Mrs Merkel has been forced to make overtures to her main political rivals lead by Martin Schulz, who had previously ruled out forming an alliance.
SPD leader Martin Schulz said after party board discussions in Berlin: “Regarding the formation of a new government, there was broad support for not ruling any option out.”
Mr Schulz, who held talks late on Thursday with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, mrs Merkel and her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer, denied he had agreed to another grand coalition.
AFPAngela Merkel could agree a deal with Martin Schulz of the SPD to form a government
Mr Schulz said: “I can clearly deny the media report about me having given the green light for grand coalition negotiations. This is simply wrong,” adding that the report appeared to be based on sources within Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc.
He added that whoever circulated such reports was damaging trust.
Ties between the SPD and conservatives - still sharing power in a caretaker capacity - have already been strained this week after a conservative minister backed extending the use of a weedkiller at the European Union level against the SPD’s wishes and without its prior knowledge.
Mr Schulz said: “We have a lot of options for building a government. We should talk about each of these options. That’s exactly what I will propose to the party leadership on Monday.”