Schroeder and Merkel to holdmore talks on grand coalition

27th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2005, BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Angela Merkel, whose conservatives won the most votes in Germany's inconclusive elections earlier this month, will hold a second round of talks on Wednesday aimed at a possible grand coalition government. Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) won 225 seats in the Bundestag, parliament's lower house, compared to 222 seats for Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) in the September 18 vote. *sidebar1*Both Merkel and Schroeder insist they sho

27 September 2005

BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Angela Merkel, whose conservatives won the most votes in Germany's inconclusive elections earlier this month, will hold a second round of talks on Wednesday aimed at a possible grand coalition government.

Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) won 225 seats in the Bundestag, parliament's lower house, compared to 222 seats for Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) in the September 18 vote.

*sidebar1*Both Merkel and Schroeder insist they should head the next German government.

Given that at least 307 votes are needed for a majority and attempts to form coalitions with smaller parties have failed, the focus is now on a possible marriage of Schroeder's and Merkel's parties for a new government.

Chancellor Schroeder says negotiations should focus on concrete policy issues such as economic reforms and that the chancellor question should only be decided at the end of talks.

But Merkel says she is not willing to begin full-blown coalition talks until Schroeder formally recognises her right to be the next chancellor.

Schroeder, in a speech in the French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday said he was sure a grand coalition of his SPD and Merkel's CDU/CSU would be put in place to lead Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news

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