Economic council of Merkel’s CDU against renewal of coalition with SPD
The Economic Council of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU says the party should give serious consideration to a minority government, in order to avoid a new grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD). In a statement, the economic council said a grand coalition would only be possible if the CDU agreed to the SPD’s demands on welfare policy, which it says are “far too costly”. The council also argues that a renewal of the CDU-SPD coalition would weaken both parties, strengthening the far-right and far-left fringes of German politics. The CDU's Economic Council is no internal party organ but rather a business association positioning itself close to the CDU's economic policy principles.
On Thursday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with the party leaders of the CDU, its Bavarian sister party the CSU, and the SPD, to sound out a possible coalition. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Social Democratic Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his party would not rush into a decision on exploratory talks with the conservatives. “Nobody should expect this to happen quickly,” Gabriel said.