The Social Democratic SPD and Liberal FDP on Sunday described their first exploratory talks about a possible government formation after the German federal election as constructively. Both sides also indicated that after sixteen years of Angela Merkel (CDU) as Chancellor there is a great need for political change in the country.
After a two-hour consultation in Berlin, which included climate, state modernization and foreign policy, SPD Party President Lars Klingbeil said: “It was constructive and very factual.” FDP party chairman Volker Wissing also said the issues were discussed in a constructive manner. He also indicated that substantive points of view are different “on essential points”. The Social Democrats want to make the richest Germans pay more taxes, the Liberals are betting on lower taxes. The FDP therefore wants to make a final judgment on the course of the formation until the four largest parties have spoken to each other.
Olaf Scholzs SPD received more than 25 percent of the vote, making it Germanys largest party. The conservative union CDU/CSU stuck at more than 24 percent. Both the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats hope to form a government with the same two parties: the progressive climate party The Greens, which received 14 percent of the votes, and the FDP, which had to do it by 11 percent.
The Greens have indicated that they prefer to rule in a coalition led by the SPD, while the FDP would prefer ably participate in a coalition led by the CDU/CSU. The Greens will talk to the SPD on Sunday. Sister parties CDU/CSU first had mutual discussions on the agenda on Sunday before they would engage with the FDP.
Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the parties on Sunday to overcome their divisions. She said that during a speech in East German Halle where Germanys unification was commemorated 31 years ago. “We can continue to discuss how to shape our country in the future, but we know we need to listen to each other and talk to each other. We are different, but also have similarities,” she said with a clear reference to the newly started discussions on a new government coalition.
Merkel has been in power since 2005 and remains on until the parties have decided who will form a government. It may take weeks or even months to clarify that.