Jamaica coalition less likely after CDU-Greens talks falter

23rd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 September 2005, BERLIN - Germany's two main parties appeared to be moving closer to a grand coalition Friday after five days of post-election efforts by each to form workable alliances with the minor parties foundered on ideological differences.

23 September 2005

BERLIN - Germany's two main parties appeared to be moving closer to a grand coalition Friday after five days of post-election efforts by each to form workable alliances with the minor parties foundered on ideological differences.

The Christian Democrat challenger for the chancellorship, Angela Merkel, emerged from exploratory talks with the fifth-largest party, the Greens, to say that points of policy detail had not even been discussed.

"We are leaving the door open," the CDU leader said, but added there were no plans for further talks.

Merkel stressed that a second round of exploratory talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) were scheduled for next week. The parties first met Thursday.

Greens party leader Reinhardt Buetikofer spoke of "extremely great differences" with the CDU/CSU.

He criticised the Christian Democrats for not accepting that they had "no mandate for their neo-liberal economic policies and anti- environmental policies".

The Greens would not join a coalition as a junior partner to allow these policies to be introduced "through the back door", Buetikofer said.

Earlier this week Merkel held talks with her preferred coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), the third-largest party in the new Bundestag.

The FDP has completely rejected a three-way coalition with Schroeder's SDP and the Greens, refusing even to talk to the SDP.

*sidebar1*The new Left Party Friday elected former communist Gregor Gysi and breakaway former SPD leader Oskar Lafontaine to lead the parliamentary party in near-unanimous ballots.

In Sunday's election, the CDU/CSU took 225 seats, against the 222 secured by the SPD.

The FDP took 61 seats, yielding total backing for Merkel of 286, well short of the 307 required in the initial balloting for the chancellor in the Bundestag.

The Greens, who have been in coalition with the SPD for the past seven years, secured 51 seats.

The Left Party took 54 seats, placing it fourth behind the FDP and ahead of the Greens.

The Bundestag meets on October 18 at the latest to begin the process of choosing a new chancellor, by which time the parties aim to have established the outlines of a coalition capable of governing.

DPA

Subject: German news

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