Wednesday

28th Jun 2017

Grand coalition is only option for Merkel

  • Merkel still has tough talks ahead (Photo: Felix O)

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats is set for a new round of exploratory talks with the Social Democrats on Thursday (17 October) with a formal request to form a coalition government expected soon afterwards

A grand coalition is now the only option on the table after the Greens earlier this week announced they would stay in opposition saying the differences with Merkel's party are too great to form a government.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The introduction of a minimum wage in all sectors of the economy is a key demand of the Social Democrats (SPD).

So far Merkel has opposed the idea, but on Wednesday the leader of her Bavarian sister party, Horst Seehofer, indicated that a compromise can be worked out.

In an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Seehofer said he is ready to accept a €8.5/hour minimum wage as long as the SPD drops its other demands for higher taxes and is "flexible" about the deadline for the introduction of the minimum wage.

"For me it's crucial: No tax increases and no new debt. This is very important for economic growth and for jobs," Seehofer said.

A compromise on the minimum wage may be enough of a precondition for the Social Democrats to agree at a party congress on Sunday to enter into real coalition talks with Merkel.

The new parliament will have its first session next week, with Merkel's outgoing cabinet entering into caretaker mode afterwards.

There is no legal deadline for a new government to be formed, with SPD deputy Andrea Nahles suggesting talks could drag on until January.

Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, however, who is tipped to become foreign minister if the SPD gets the finance ministry, said he is confident a new government will be in place by next month.

"I think we will have a coalition by mid-November," he said last weekend while in Washington.

Security and defence to top EU summit

Pressure is mounting for social media platforms to remove any online content deemed to incite terrorism. Draft conclusions, seen by EUobserver, have made the issue a top priority in leaders' talks next week.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  3. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  4. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  6. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  7. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  8. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  9. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  10. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  11. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  12. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!