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24 September 2013

Spiegel: Social Democrats demand new stance on Europe from Merkel

After the federal elections, the SPD has laid down its first conditions for a possible grand coalition, including an end to radical austerity measures in Europe. "This is a policy Merkel will not be able to continue with", said EP President Schulz.

Translated from the German

The German EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger (CDU) also spoke in favour of an alliance with the SPD: "A grand coalition is good for Europe." Even Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker argued indirectly for a black-red coalition. He warned that there were lessons to be drawn from the good performance of the eurosceptical "Alternative for Germany". "The success of the AfD means that we have a communication problem vis-à-vis the population", Juncker said. From a grand coalition of CDU and SPD, Juncker expects "more considerate manners" towards Germany's European partners than in the past.

Union parliamentary leader Volker Kauder (CDU), however, urged in an interview with the Spiegel that the SPD should not unnecessarily delay coalition negotiations with the CDU. Although one should take time for negotiations, Kauder said that "Europe is not waiting for the government in Germany to be formed - we must be able to act". Kauder stressed further that in his view, an alliance with the SPD was preferable to a coalition with the Greens. "The SPD is simply the larger parliamentary group, therefore our first focus goes to them. But also according to the statements made during the campaign trail, they are for me the first and correct preference", the CDU politician said.

Full article (in German)

© Spiegel Online

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