BERLIN – Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who heads the conservative bloc currently engaged in last-ditch coalition talks with the country’s Social Democrats (SPD), said on Tuesday her party was willing to make painful concessions in order to secure an agreement.
Merkel spoke to the press on what was slated to be the final day of discussions between her Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian sister party bloc (CSU/CDU) and the SPD of Martin Schulz, which aimed to revive a so-called grand coalition and break a four-month political deadlock resulting from inconclusive federal elections.
“We will each have to make painful compromises and I am ready for that if we can guarantee that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” said Merkel, who is seeking her fourth term in the German chancellery.
Her optimistic words had earlier been mirrored by Schulz, who told reporters upon his arrival to the talks in Berlin that he was confident a final deal for a government program could be struck on Tuesday as planned.
Party support for Schulz has dropped since talks with Merkel were given the green light, especially among its youth wing, many of whom were staunchly opposed to reviving the grand coalition that preceded the vote on Sept. 24, 2017.
Merkel has campaigned for such a coalition on the basis that Germany required strong governance.
The CSU/CDU won the September ballot but failed to accumulate enough votes to form a government. The SPD meanwhile suffered its worst-ever election result.