0238 GMT March 23, 2018
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative camp has focused its efforts on forming a new “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats (SPD) to break the biggest political deadlock in Germany since World War II.
SPD leader Martin Schulz had time and again stressed that his party would not enter into a new coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU).
Nonetheless, the SPD handed a political lifeline to CDU on Friday after its three-way coalition talks with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens collapsed.
The SDP made the decision following a call by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and pressure to preserve stability and avoid new elections.
In fact, Steinmeier preferred a new “grand coalition” to snap elections and the formation of a minority government by Merkel’s party to maintain the status of Germany in the European Union.
The chancellor had already told German media that she is opposed to establishing a minority government and called for new elections.
Meanwhile, Schulz wanted to go into opposition by refusing to enter into coalition talks with Christian Democrats.
If the SPD and the CDU agree on forming a fresh coalition, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) will play the role of the opposition. This is because the far-right and anti-immigration party placed third in parliamentary elections.
This will help promote the status of the AfD and the right-wing extremists in Europe. It will also undermine the European Union which is seeking to maintain the bloc as a unified entity.
Now all eyes are on coalition talks between Germany’s two main parties to see whether they will be able to end the uncertainty in Europe’s largest economy.
*Hossein Ziaee is an Iranian journalist based in Germany.