German SPD leader Martin Schulz seeks 'United States of Europe' by 2025

08 Décembre, 2017, 01:12 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • German SPD leader Martin Schulz seeks 'United States of Europe' by 2025

The leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) was seeking on Thursday to convince his reluctant party that it has a duty to discuss forming a government under Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, for the sake of German and European stability. Merkel's bloc, he argued in an article in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, doesn't want "far-reaching institutional reform". Coalition talks between the CDU and three other parties collapsed last month.

In an election later, Schulz was re-elected as SPD's party leader with a total of 81.9 percent of the vote, down from the 100 percent he received in March when he was elected as SPD Chairman.

Formal talks between the parties are unlikely to start until the new year.

Delegates at a party conference voted for the move.

The left-leaning Greens' call for relatives to be allowed to join people granted protection that falls short of asylum was one hard point in Merkel's previous coalition talks, although it appeared on track to be resolved and didn't in itself sink the effort.

"Only if Germany's role as the reform motor in the European Union is agreed in binding and concrete form in a coalition deal can this succeed - but not in the framework of parliamentary support agreements" for a minority government, he added.

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He promised to be an advocate of the European Union, calling at one point for for a United States of Europe "by 2025" and saying right-wing nationalists would win otherwise.

On Thursday, Mr Schulz told his party: "We don't have to govern at any price, but we must not reject governing at all costs either".

Mrs Merkel said in response that her goal was better co-operation between countries, not a federal Europe.

What next for Germany as Merkel myth implodes?

Mrs Merkel could form a minority government with the Greens, with SPD support.

In a bid to avoid the possibility of fresh elections, Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stepped in to break the deadlock, issuing what Schulz described as a "dramatic appeal" for his party to consider coalition talks. Polls suggest a new vote would produce a result similar to September's election.

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