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social democrats push back against german 'grand' coalition


berlin — the head of germany's center-left social democrats is lobbying party members to vote for opening coalition talks with chancellor angela merkel's conservatives amid strong opposition from grassroots members.martin schulz was in dortmund tuesday to push for approval of the formal negotiations with the union bloc at a party convention sunday.a rejection of talks would be a setback for both schulz and merkel , who has already failed to forge a coalition with two smaller parties.the social democrats and the union bloc, who have governed germany in a "grand coalition" since 2013, suffered heavy losses in september's national election.in non-binding votes, social democrats in the smaller states of berlin and saxony-anhalt have indicated they'll vote against opening coalition talks, while






social democrats push back against german ‘grand’ coalition


berlin (ap) — the head of germany’s center-left social democrats is lobbying party members to vote for opening coalition talks with chancellor angela merkel’s conservatives amid strong opposition from grassroots members.martin schulz was in dortmund tuesday to push for approval of the formal negotiations with the union bloc at a party convention sunday.a rejection of talks would be a setback for both schulz and merkel , who has already failed to forge a coalition with two smaller parties.the social democrats and the union bloc, who have governed germany in a “grand coalition” since 2013, suffered heavy losses in september’s national election.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.in non-binding votes, social democrats in the smaller states of berlin and saxony-anhalt hav






merkel focused on grand coalition with social democrats


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel says her conservative bloc is embarking on exploratory talks with the social democrats with the goal of forming a so-called “grand coalition,” despite the center-left party saying it would also consider other options.merkel told reporters monday after meeting with her party’s leadership that anything other than a grand coalition would be considered a failure of the preliminary talks.merkel’s conservatives and the social democrats have governed germany together since 2013 in a grand coalition. the social democrats ruled out another after performing poorly in september’s election, but reluctantly reconsidered after merkel’s talks with two smaller parties collapsed.still, party leader martin schulz has left options open, saying exploratory talks w






pressure grows on german social democrats in gov't impasse


berlin — pressure is growing within germany's social democratic party to at least discuss the possibility of forming a new government with chancellor angela merkel's conservatives.spd leader martin schulz has ruled out returning to the current "grand coalition" with merkel, following a disastrous result in september's election, even after her talks on forming a government with two other parties collapsed.if no one budges, the options are a minority government — never previously tried — or new elections.schulz is meeting thursday with president frank-walter steinmeier, who has urged politicians to compromise.several social democrats, while expressing skepticism, have suggested the party should discuss another coalition with merkel or supporting a minority government.lawmaker karl lauterbach






at snail's pace, german parties inch toward coalition talks


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel's conservative union bloc and the center-left social democrats appeared thursday to be closing in on an agreement that would allow the parties to enter into formal coalition talks.heading into the final day of preliminary negotiations between the two sides, merkel was upbeat, telling reporters in berlin that "large obstacles" remained but she intended to push for new compromises."the people expect us to find solutions," she said.following a dismal result in germany's sept. 24 election, the social democrats initially vowed not to renew the "grand coalition" of germany's biggest parties. party leaders reconsidered after merkel's attempts to form a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed.germany president frank-walter steinmeier appealed to the ne






pressure grows on german social democrats in gov’t impasse


berlin (ap) — pressure is growing within germany’s social democratic party to at least discuss the possibility of forming a new government with chancellor angela merkel’s conservatives.spd leader martin schulz has ruled out returning to the current “grand coalition” with merkel, following a disastrous result in september’s election, even after her talks on forming a government with two other parties collapsed.if no one budges, the options are a minority government — never previously tried — or new elections.schulz is meeting thursday with president frank-walter steinmeier, who has urged politicians to compromise.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksseveral social democrats, while expressing skepticism, have suggested the party should discuss another coalition with merke






german parties talk through the night, no end in sight


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel's conservative union bloc and the center-left social democrats remained locked in talks early friday in an effort to determine whether they can enter into formal negotiations over a future government.party leaders worked through the night to sound out ways of removing the differences that would allow them to renew the "grand coalition" that's governed germany for the past four years.early thursday, merkel had expressed optimism about a deal, telling reporters in berlin that "large obstacles" remained but she intended to push for new compromises."the people expect us to find solutions," she said.following a dismal result in germany's sept. 24 election, the social democrats initially vowed not to enter into another government with merkel's conservativ






germany: union boss presses center-left to join merkel gov’t


berlin (ap) — germany’s top labor union official pressed the center-left social democrats on thursday to join a new coalition government under conservative chancellor angela merkel, arguing that failing to make a deal would hurt both sides.merkel’s union bloc will begin talks jan. 7 on a possible new government with the social democrats, her partners of the past four years. the social democrats ruled out a repeat after a disastrous performance in september’s election, but leaders reluctantly reconsidered after merkel’s talks with two smaller parties collapsed last month.many members remain skeptical. leaders would need the approval of a party conference next month to move on to formal coalition negotiations, and any coalition deal would be put to a ballot of the full membership.if the soci






germany: union boss presses center-left to join merkel gov't


berlin — germany's top labor union official pressed the center-left social democrats on thursday to join a new coalition government under conservative chancellor angela merkel, arguing that failing to make a deal would hurt both sides.merkel's union bloc will begin talks jan. 7 on a possible new government with the social democrats, her partners of the past four years. the social democrats ruled out a repeat after a disastrous performance in september's election, but leaders reluctantly reconsidered after merkel's talks with two smaller parties collapsed last month.many members remain skeptical. leaders would need the approval of a party conference next month to move on to formal coalition negotiations, and any coalition deal would be put to a ballot of the full membership.if the social de






merkel's party wins deal for 3-way coalition in german state


berlin — chancellor angela merkel's conservative party says it has reached an agreement with a pro-business ally and the traditionally left-leaning greens to form a government in germany's northernmost state.the deal in schleswig-holstein follows a state election last month and comes ahead of germany's sept. 24 national vote. merkel is seeking a fourth term and her christian democrats hope to escape their national "grand coalition" with the main center-left party, the social democrats.one option could be a three-way coalition with the free democrats and the greens like the one emerging in schleswig-holstein. only the greens were also in the state's outgoing government, which was led by the social democrats.news agency dpa reported that the regional conservative leader, daniel guenther, sai






german chancellor merkel says she’s “optimistic” about forming a new coalition g


share storyby the associated pressthe associated pressberlin (ap) — german chancellor merkel says she’s “optimistic” about forming a new coalition government with social democrats.the associated press






merkel to address german parliament ahead of election


berlin — chancellor angela merkel will address germany's parliament on the state of the country less than three weeks before an election in which she's seeking a fourth term.tuesday's speech comes two days after the only televised live debate between merkel and main challenger martin schulz of the center-left social democrats. merkel, who leads the conservative christian democratic party, has been governing germany in a grand coalition with the social democrats for the last four years. both candidates have run lackluster campaigns and sunday's debate was criticized for not being controversial enough.during the debate, both candidates refused to rule out continuing their current grand coalition at the national level after the election.her party is currently leading in the polls. germany hol






merkel, rival meet german president amid gov't impasse


berlin — germany's president brought together chancellor angela merkel and the leader of the center-left social democrats, martin schulz, on thursday night with the aim of breaking the impasse over the formation of a new government.president frank-walter steinmeier called the party leaders together after talks between merkel's conservative bloc and two smaller parties to form a previously untried coalition collapsed.schulz, merkel and her bavarian ally horst seehofer agreed to meet at germany's presidential palace to explore the possibility of forming a so-called grand coalition like the one that makes up the outgoing government.schultz had initially refused to consider another "grand coalition" with merkel after a disastrous showing of the social democrats in the election on sept. 24, say






the latest: merkel party leads in warm-up for national vote


frankfurt, germany — the latest on the local vote sunday in northern germany (all times local):7:35 p.m.chancellor angela merkel's conservatives are poised for coalition talks that could see them take control of the north german region of schleswig-holstein.her party came in first in a local election in the northern state of schleswig-holstein, seen as a prelude for her bid for a fourth term in national elections in the fall. they defeated the coalition led by the social democrats, her main opponents in the fall.exit poll results indicated the christian democrats could form a 42-seat majority in the region's 69-seat parliament with the greens and the pro-business free democrats. or they could form a left-right coalition with the social democrats.the social democrats would in theory have en






merkel’s conservative party does well in german local vote


frankfurt, germany (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel’s conservatives came in first sunday in a local election seen as a warm-up for her bid for a fourth term in a national election in the fall.the results in the small northern state of schleswig-holstein were a blow to her main national challenger, social democrat martin schulz, whose party’s governing coalition was ejected from office there.the social democrats had governed the region of 2.8 million people since 2012 in coalition with the greens and the small ssw party of the region’s danish majority.exit polls and early returns broadcast by ard television showed merkel’s christian democrats, headed by local candidate daniel guenther, were in the lead with 32.8 percent of the vote, ahead of the second-place social democrats who had 2






germany coalition talks: merkel aides see breakthrough


image copyrightreutersimage caption angela merkel and martin schulz: another "grand coalition" demands tough compromises german politicians have achieved a breakthrough in talks aimed at forming a new coalition government. a 28-page blueprint for negotiations was agreed between chancellor angela merkel's christian democrats (cdu) and their former coalition partners, the social democrats (spd). politicians stayed up all night thrashing out a deal, with the talks lasting more than 24 hours.but they managed to reach agreement on key sticking points such as migration.they plan to limit asylum-seeker arrivals to about 200,000 annually. the blueprint also speaks of capping at 1,000 a month the number of migrants who will be allowed to join their family living in germany.the talks also focused on






germany’s merkel embarks on new talks to form government


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel embarked sunday on talks with the center-left social democrats on forming a new government, with leaders stressing the need for speed as they attempt to break an impasse more than three months after the country’s election.leaders aim to decide by friday whether there’s enough common ground to move on to formal coalition negotiations. whatever the result, it will be a while yet before a new administration is in place to end what is already post-world war ii germany’s longest effort to put together a new government.why is there an impasse?germany’s sept. 24 election produced a parliamentary majority for only two plausible coalitions: the outgoing alliance of merkel’s conservative christian democratic union and its bavaria-only sister, the christi






germany coalition: merkel courts spd as pivotal talks begin


image copyrightthierry roge/afp/getty imagesimage caption germany's chancellor angela merkel is fighting to form a long-term government german chancellor angela merkel will launch a new round of coalition talks on sunday in a bid to end the country's political stalemate.more than three months after its election, germany is still without a new government.the five-day talks will include mrs merkel's christian democrats (cdu), her allies the christian social union (csu), and the social democrats (spd).many see this as her last chance to form a stable coalition.the centre-left spd has governed jointly with the chancellor's centre-right party for eight of the last 12 years. but a historically poor poll result in september saw spd leader martin schulz vow to take the social democrats into opposi






the latest: euro jumps on positive news from german talks


berlin — the latest on talks to form a government in germany (all times local):11:50 a.m.the euro has jumped to a three-year high on news of progress in talks to create a new german coalition government.it rose as far as $1.2138 on friday, the highest since early 2015, and by midmorning in europe was up 0.8 percent at $1.2125.chancellor angela merkel's conservative union bloc and the center-left social democrats have agreed upon a 28-page paper outlining the basis for moving ahead with formal coalition talks.the result came after a more than 24-hour session, which capped a week of negotiations.details were expected to be released later in the morning.___11:25 a.m.german chancellor angela merkel says she's "optimistic" about the possibility of forming a new coalition government with the soc






german center-left party battles over new merkel coalition


berlin — supporters and opponents of a new alliance with chancellor angela merkel are making their case to members of germany's main center-left party who will decide this weekend whether to negotiate a new governing coalition.merkel's union bloc and leaders of the center-left social democrats last week reached a preliminary deal to open formal coalition negotiations. that agreement now needs approval from a party congress sunday of the social democrats, many of whose members are deeply skeptical after a disastrous election result in september.over the weekend, a small regional branch of the party came out against a new coalition and some prominent party members picked holes in last week's agreement.the social democrats' parliamentary leader, andrea nahles, told deutschlandfunk radio monda






the latest: german polls: merkel party leads in local vote


frankfurt, germany — the latest on the local vote sunday in northern germany (all times local):6:20 p.m.exit polls say that german chancellor angela merkel's conservatives are leading the center-left social democrats in a local election that is being watched as a prelude to her bid for a fourth term in the national vote in the fall.exit polls broadcast by ard television showed merkel's christian democratic union leading with 33 percent and the social democrats, or spd, trailing with 26 percent in the northern state of schleswig-holstein.the social democrats have governed the region of 2.8 million since 2012 with a narrow majority in coalition with other parties.the exit polls indicated that the social democrats' coalition had lost its majority. coalition talks will determine who governs.th






germany's merkel embarks on new talks to form government


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel embarked sunday on talks with the center-left social democrats on forming a new government, with leaders stressing the need for speed as they attempt to break an impasse more than three months after the country's election.merkel's conservative union bloc and the social democrats have run germany together for the past four years. but the social democrats vowed to go into opposition after a disastrous election result sept. 24, and only reluctantly reconsidered after merkel's attempt to build a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed in november.the effort to form a government has already become post-world war ii germany's longest ahead of the preliminary talks starting sunday.leaders aim to decide by friday whether there's enough common ground to






germany’s merkel embarks on new talks to form government


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel embarked sunday on talks with the center-left social democrats on forming a new government, with leaders stressing the need for speed as they attempt to break an impasse more than three months after the country’s election.merkel’s conservative union bloc and the social democrats have run germany together for the past four years. but the social democrats vowed to go into opposition after a disastrous election result sept. 24, and only reluctantly reconsidered after merkel’s attempt to build a coalition with two smaller parties collapsed in november.the effort to form a government has already become post-world war ii germany’s longest ahead of the preliminary talks starting sunday.leaders aim to decide by friday whether there’s enough common grou






german government talks collapse; merkel seeks to reassure


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel pledged early monday to maintain stability after the free democratic party pulled out of talks on forming a new government with her conservative bloc and the left-leaning greens, raising the possibility of new elections.merkel told reporters that the parties had been close to reaching a consensus on how to proceed with formal coalition talks but that the free democrats decided abruptly to pull out just before midnight sunday — a move she said she respected, but found "regrettable."she said she would consult with germany's president later in the day to brief him on the negotiations and discuss what comes next.without bringing the free democrats back to the table, merkel will be forced to try to continue her current governing coalition with the social






german center-left party battles over new merkel coalition


berlin (ap) — supporters and opponents of a new alliance with chancellor angela merkel are making their case to members of germany’s main center-left party who will decide this weekend whether to negotiate a new governing coalition.merkel’s union bloc and leaders of the center-left social democrats last week reached a preliminary deal to open formal coalition negotiations. that agreement now needs approval from a party congress sunday of the social democrats, many of whose members are deeply skeptical after a disastrous election result in september.over the weekend, a small regional branch of the party came out against a new coalition and some prominent party members picked holes in last week’s agreement.the social democrats’ parliamentary leader, andrea nahles, told deutschlandfunk radio






merkel to meet german president after coalition talks fail


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel is to meet with the country's president after talks on forming a new government collapsed in the night, raising the possibility of new elections.merkel will meet president frank-walter steinmeier later on monday to brief him on the negotiations and discuss what comes next.preliminary coalition talks broke down late sunday after the pro-business free democrats bowed out of the negotiations with merkel's conservative bloc and the left-leaning greens.beside the possibility of new elections, merkel could attempt to continue her current coalition with the social democrats — which that party has said it will not do — or she could try to go ahead with a minority government.free democrats leader christian lindner told reporters his party pulled out of the w






german parties holding first meetings after election


berlin — german parties' newly elected parliamentary groups are holding their first meetings after an election that left chancellor angela merkel's conservative bloc weakened but still on top. it now faces a complicated task of forming a coalition government and the prospect of robust opposition from both the right and left.the most politically plausible option for the next government led by merkel is a three-way coalition with the pro-business free democrats and the traditionally left-leaning greens.merkel has said she wants to seek talks with them, but also with her former coalition partner, the social democrats — who say they will go into opposition.lawmakers for the nationalist, anti-migrant alternative for germany, or afd, who have entered parliament for the first time, will also meet






merkel to meet german president after coalition talks fail


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel is to meet with the country’s president after talks on forming a new government collapsed in the night, raising the possibility of new elections.merkel will meet president frank-walter steinmeier later on monday to brief him on the negotiations and discuss what comes next.preliminary coalition talks broke down late sunday after the pro-business free democrats bowed out of the negotiations with merkel’s conservative bloc and the left-leaning greens.beside the possibility of new elections, merkel could attempt to continue her current coalition with the social democrats — which that party has said it will not do — or she could try to go ahead with a minority government.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksfree democrats leader






germany's merkel faces tricky task to build government


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel is embarking on a complicated quest to form a new government and find answers to the rise of a nationalist, anti-migrant party.sunday's election in europe's biggest economy left merkel's conservative union bloc weakened after a campaign that focused squarely on germany's leader of the past 12 years. however, no other party can lead a new government and merkel herself lacks any obvious internal challenger.merkel's partners since 2013 in a "grand coalition" of germany's traditionally dominant parties, the center-left social democrats, vowed to go into opposition after a heavy defeat.caucus leader thomas oppermann doubled down on that pledge monday, saying that "we will not conduct coalition talks, because voters have decided that the social democrats'






merkel begins last-ditch effort to form coalition government


berlin—germany’s hope of breaking a streak of more than 100 days without a government is now riding on repairing a broken political marriage.on sunday german chancellor angela merkel began a last-ditch effort to form a government by beginning five days of talks with her former governing partner, the social democrats. the center-left party had previously vowed not to work with ms. merkel’s conservative bloc this time around in another so-called grand coalition of germany’s two centrist parties....






merkel takes big step toward forming german coalition government


berlin—angela merkel made a breakthrough toward forming a government and clinching a fourth term as germany’s chancellor on friday after her conservative party and its center-left rivals agreed on the broad lines of a renewed alliance. after six days of talks covering areas ranging from taxation to immigration, ms. merkel’s christian democrats and the social democrats, or spd, said they had enough of a basis to begin detailed formal coalition negotiations....






german fm: 'united states of europe' wouldn't negate nations


berlin — germany's foreign minister says a "united states of europe" proposed by his party's leader wouldn't spell the end of nation-states on the continent.martin schulz, who heads the center-left social democrats, told a party meeting last week that countries refusing to sign a treaty establishing a federal "united states of europe" by 2025 should leave the european union.foreign minister sigmar gabriel told german public broadcaster ard on sunday that the idea was "no contradiction to the europe of fatherlands or motherlands."gabriel says european nations can't defend their interests alone on the global stage and "unless we stand together, our children won't have a voice in the world."talks between the social democrats and chancellor angela merkel's conservative union on extending their






germany picks frank-walter steinmeier to be president


berlin — a german parliamentary assembly has elected frank-walter steinmeier by an overwhelming majority to become the country's new president.steinmeier, germany's former foreign minister, was elected sunday in berlin with 931 of the 1,260 votes. the special election assembly was made up of the 630 lawmakers in parliament's lower house and an equal number of representatives from germany's 16 states.the german president has little executive power but is considered an important moral authority.steinmeier, a social democrat, had the support of chancellor angela merkel's "grand coalition" of center-right and center-left parties.the presidential vote was likely one of the last moments of coalition unity ahead of a parliamentary election in september in which merkel is seeking a fourth term. bo






german politicians push for gay marriage legalization


the social democratic party of germany (spd), a partner in angela merkel’s christian democratic union ruling coalition, said sunday it would initiate a new bid to legalize homosexual marriages in the country. the parliamentary leader for spd, thomas oppermann, told der spiegel magazine it would raise the issue at the next meeting of the right-center coalition…






german local vote is test for merkel's challenger


frankfurt, germany — polls are open in northern germany for a local election that will test the strength of the country's social democrats as they try to deny chancellor angela merkel a fourth term.the social democrats are trying to hold onto power in schleswig-holstein, where they have governed since 2012. a good showing sunday in the region with a population of 2.8 million would reinforce their prospects for challenging merkel in the nationwide election in september.social democratic governor torsten albig is defending a slim majority for his governing coalition with the greens and the left-leaning ssw party, which represents the region's danish minority. polls point to a tight race with merkel's christian democrats.the social democrats surged in national polls after martin schulz, a for






merkel supports german coalition with greens, free democrats


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel is pushing for a coalition with the free democratic party and greens, saying it’s the best suited to govern the country.speaking saturday in dresden to her party’s youth wing, merkel said she’d hold talks with the pro-business fdp and left-leaning greens and then present her christian democratic union with a coalition proposal for approval.merkel’s conservative bloc won sept. 24’s election with 33 percent.merkel will talk sunday with her bavarian-only sister christian social union party, which has been pushing for a yearly cap on migrants in response to the flood of more than 1 million asylum seekers in the past two years.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.merkel says she still believes german asylum law allows for no cap






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