Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

German SPD leader says brown coal exit must not hurt workers

SPD leader promises to push Germany to embrace Macron Merkel struggles to lure coalition partners back
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2017, 17:37

The leader of Germany's Social Democrats Martin Schulz called on his party to uphold its national responsibility and to strengthen Europe by backing talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives to build a new government.

It reinforced its refusal to join a new coalition after Merkel's talks with two smaller parties collapsed last month.

He said: "I want a European constitutional treaty that creates a federal Europe".

"This constitutional treaty must then be presented in all member states and those that do not agree would automatically leave the European Union", he said.

Afterwards on Twitter, he doubled down in English, saying: "I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe". Schulz was the President of the European Parliament from 2011 until January 2017, when he returned to domestic politics.

Light snow, rain chances continue overnight
If you haven't put the driveway stakes, I'd do so today - it's going to get more hard as the ground freezes and hardens over time. Otherwise, expect partly cloudy skies, brisk breezes, and colder temperatures to be the rule through the rest of the weekend.

Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz speaks during an SPD party convention in Berlin, Germany, November 7, 2017. "A Europe that is no threat to its member states, but a beneficial addition".

For Schulz, a willingness to sound out a power pact with Merkel represents a U-turn after he repeatedly vowed to go into opposition following his party's dismal showing in the September 24 elections.

At a previously scheduled party congress Thursday, Schulz is seeking members' approval for a resolution approving talks on "whether and in what form" the Social Democrats can support a new government.

Michael Broening of the SPD-linked Friedrich Ebert Foundation said the Social Democrats "once again find themselves in a Catch-22 situation".

'Europe is our life insurance, ' said Schulz. "Our country can not afford another four years of European policy à la [former conservative Finance Minister] Wolfgang Schäuble".

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