BERLIN, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Leaders of Germany’s Social
Democrats (SPD) won a green light from their party to start
coalition talks with Angela Merkel on Sunday, after promising to
wring concessions from the chancellor on a minimum wage, equal
pay and transaction tax.
Discussions between Merkel and the centre-left SPD on forming
a new German government can now begin on Wednesday, a month
after an election saw her conservatives emerge as the biggest
political force but needing a partner to form a majority.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Greens ruled out any further coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s conservatives early on Wednesday, leaving the chancellor to focus on discussions with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in her efforts to form a new government.
After almost six hours of detailed policy discussions the Greens concluded they simply did not have enough in common with Merkel’s conservative bloc in areas such as energy, climate targets and taxation, to make further discussions fruitful.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will hold preliminary coalition talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on Friday and also plans to meet with the Greens, as she tries to play her potential partners off against each other at the start of a tough horse-trading marathon.
The SPD are seen as the chancellor’s most likely partner, but they said on Monday they would not be rushed into a deal, suggesting the formation of a new government could drag on until January.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel will be asked to break an election pledge not to raise taxes in talks this week on a ‘grand coalition’ with the opposition Social Democrats (SPD) which could also threaten her influential finance minister.
The chancellor’s conservatives notched up their best result in more than two decades in last Sunday’s election but fell just short of a parliamentary majority, leaving Merkel in need of a partner. Her former allies, the Free Democrats (FDP), lacked enough support to return to parliament.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s outgoing coalition partners, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), pinned their hopes on a new leader on Monday to rescue them from oblivion, a day after crashing out of Germany’s parliament for the first time in their history.
The FDP won just 4.8 percent of the vote, humiliating for a party once respected as kingmaker in Germany’s coalition-oriented political system, and a member of governments on the left or right for 46 of the past 63 years.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A new anti-euro party narrowly missed entering parliament in a German election on Sunday, drawing millions of voters with a euroskeptic message that may have laid the foundations for a strong challenge in a European Parliament vote next year.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD), formed just seven months ago to tap into resentment in Europe’s biggest economy about bailouts for weak euro zone states like Greece, generated a late surge in support to score 4.8 percent.
MAGDEBURG/BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel warned cheering supporters in the eastern city of Magdeburg on Tuesday not to split their vote to save her Free Democratic (FDP) coalition partners, in a sign of raw nerves ahead of a tightly-contested German election on Sunday.
“We are separate parties with different policies and we have no votes to give away,” she told a rally in an old market square packed with supporters waving “Angie” posters and eating ice in her party’s orange campaign colors.
BERLIN, Sept 8 (Reuters) – “One in two Germans feels
troubled by noise,” Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU)
state in their election manifesto. “We want to change this”.
Germany already has some of the world’s most stringent noise
regulations and citizens only too eager to reprimand neighbours
for loud children or taking out rubbish too early on a Sunday.
BERLIN (Reuters) – A Hezbollah official has said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered a poison gas attack last month and that it considered the move a mistake which showed he was losing his grip, according to German intelligence.
Participants at a confidential meeting of German lawmakers on Monday said the head of the BND foreign intelligence agency told them it had intercepted a phone call believed to be between a high-ranking member of the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group and the Iranian Embassy in Damascus.
BERLIN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be “so stupid” as to use chemical weapons close to Damascus, the leader of the country’s largest Kurdish group said.
Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he doubted the Syrian president would resort to using such weapons when he felt he had the upper hand in the country’s civil war.