December 4, 2017 / 11:18 AM / in a year

German SPD leaders recommend entering talks with Merkel's conservatives

BERLIN (Reuters) - The party board of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) unanimously agreed to enter talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives over whether and how they may join a new government, with all options on the table, a senior SPD official said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) Martin Schulz gives a statement at the party headquarter in Berlin, Germany, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The SPD leaders also named key policy demands in a document seen by Reuters, including a harmonization of corporate taxes on a European level, higher taxes for high-wage earners, increased investments in education, high-speed internet, roads and social housing.

SPD members will discuss the proposals by the SPD leadership during a party congress in Berlin on Dec. 7 to 9.

The SPD, which has governed in coalition under Merkel since 2013, suffered its worst election result in postwar history in late September and is reluctant to join another “grand coalition”, fearing it will again be smothered in a new tie-up with the conservatives.

Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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