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Merkel still looking for coalition partner

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 02:02

Oct. 11 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel led her Christian Democrat party to their best election result in over two decades in September, but she still has to find a coalition partner to secure a third term. As Joanna Partridge reports, she is talking to both the Social Democrats and the Greens.

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Seeking - one new coalition partner. German Chancellor Angela Merkel helped her Christian Democrats to their best result in over 20 years in the September election. But despite being the dominant force in parliament, the CDU doesn't have a majority, and their previous coalition partner the FDP didn't get enough votes to stay in parliament. Merkel held several hours of preliminary talks with the Greens on Thursday - she's also been talking to the Social Democrats. Cem Oezdemir is Green Party Co-Chairman. SOUNDBITE: GREEN PARTY CO-CHAIRMAN, CEM OEZDEMIR, SAYING (German): "The atmosphere was positive, the mood was friendly and the talks were conducted with the necessary seriousness, because it's clear this is important. This is about the world's fourth-largest economy getting a stable government that will stay together for the next four years and which at the same time has a clear agenda". But a day after talks, Green politicians played down the prospect of forming government with Merkel, saying they'd found little common ground. Hermann Groehe is the CDU's General Secretary. SOUNDBITE: Hermann Groehe, General Secretary, Christian Democrat Party, saying (German): "In the talks we concentrated on topics such as European policy, strengthening Europe, ensuring the stability of the euro, energy policy, and the nuclear switch off, and we also looked at questions such as social and integration policy." A conservative / Green coalition would be an historic outcome. The parties have traditionally been at loggerheads and have never governed together before. The SPD is seen as a more likely coalition partner. Merkel will hold more talks with them on Monday, a day before she meets again with the Greens. Whoever she ends up working with, she will have to compromise. Merkel disagrees with the SPD and Greens' demands for higher taxes for the rich, investment in infrastructure, and a minimum wage. Either way, Germany's European partners will be hoping coalition talks don't drag on too long - so the bloc can get working on plans for banking union, and more measures to fight the crisis.

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Merkel still looking for coalition partner

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 02:02