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Germany’s Greens line up coalition talks with Social Democrats

The co-leader of Germany's Green party, Annalena Baerbock, says that her party will start coalition talks with Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD), who won Sunday's election, on the weekend.

Berlin, 29 September 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The co-leader of Germany’s Green party, Annalena Baerbock, says that her party will start coalition talks with Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD), who won Sunday’s election, on the weekend.

Since late on Tuesday, the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had been conducting talks between themselves in order to decide on an approach to future coalition talks.

The FDP announced just an hour earlier that they would meet both of the bigger parties separately on the weekend – the conservative CDU/CSU on Saturday, and SPD on Sunday.

The FDP favour a coalition with Laschet’s conservatives, while the Greens’ policies more closely match those of the SPD.

Baerbock said that the Greens would meet the FDP again on Friday, and then would meet only the SPD this weekend, on Sunday. A meeting with the conservatives was being planned for next week, she said.

“We are in contact with the [conservative] Union,” Baerbock said, but emphasized that she felt the mandate from Sunday’s vote was for renewal and a new government. It was right that they talk with the SPD as the winners of Sunday’s poll, she said.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel’s office said that the German outgoing chancellor has personally congratulated the Social Democrats’ Olaf Scholz “on his election success.”

Merkel contacted Scholz, her finance minister, on Monday, according to a statement. Her press office released the statement on Wednesday after the question was raised in an earlier press conference.

At that press conference, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert did not comment further on the outcome of the election, and said only that Merkel would continue to do her duties until her successor was in place.

“The chancellor and the ministers are doing their job until a new federal government takes over,” he said. “The chancellor will continue to cultivate foreign ties, including through trips abroad and meetings and talks with heads of state and government of other countries,” he said.

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