SPD leaders agree to first talks with Merkel’s CDU
The leaders of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) have agreed to enter into talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the SPD's executive committee says in a draft resolution seen by the Clean Energy Wire. The party leaders say that the SPD could "not remain indifferent whether or not we have a federal government or new elections", adding that they felt "obliged" to enter into talks on a possible new grand coalition. Earlier, SPD leader Martin Schulz had repeatedly ruled out his party’s participation in a new government after it suffered significant losses in September's elections. However, he was faced with mounting pressure to reconsider this position after the talks on a possible Jamaica coalition’ had collapsed. Schulz will be tasked with explaining this turnaround to party delegates at a convention scheduled for 7-9 December.
In the draft resolution, the SPD leadership says that an "ambitious climate protection policy”, a "consistent expansion of renewable energy sources", and "financial support" to find economic and industrial perspectives in negatively affected regions should be "essential points" in the talks with the conservatives. The SPD insists that the country’s new government should not adopt a "carry on" approach, and says that the party leaders will decide whether the SPD enters into formal coalition negotiations or accepts a conservative minority government after sounding out "if there's enough trust" in the potential partner.