German union backs SPD bid to start formal coalition talks

'Secure EU Borders': Austria's Kurz and Merkel Clash Over Migrant Quotas

'Secure EU Borders': Austria's Kurz and Merkel Clash Over Migrant Quotas

If the vote is negative many leading SPD members will have to step down, including Schulz and it might even mean the end for Merkel as German chancellor.

At a special party congress in the western city of Bonn, 372 out of 642 delegates (56 percent) backed SPD chief Martin Schulz's appeal to approve a preliminary coalition deal painstakingly hammered out with Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc.

The ensuing discussion was intense, emotional and controversial, Schulz declared, following his debate with party delegates in Dusseldorf.

Now, he said, the party has the responsibility to revive social democracy by offering a fresh vision for Germany and Europe from within government. She told of an encounter with an elderly lady at an airport, who had asked Nahles about the SPD position on pensions and then told her "I'm counting on you".

Six hundred delegates will vote on Sunday on whether to embark on full-blown coalition talks.

In his bid to draw the party behind the coalition talks, Schulz said any cabinet the SPD was a member of would be evenly divided between men and women.

Schulz has pledged that any final coalition agreement will be put to a vote by more than 400,000 rank-and-file party members - leaving Merkel's fate once again in the hands of the SPD.

If a coalition is unable to be formed, the government is left with two options: hold another nationwide vote, or create a minority government, something that has not occurred in the nation since before World War II.

After exhausting all-night talks into January 12, Germany's two biggest political parties - the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) - announced that they had made a breakthrough in exploratory talks in the form of a 28-page paper containing a list of agreed policies. And almost four months into post-war Germany's longest political impasse, she's likely to emerge on top again for the time being — whatever happens.

'Secure EU Borders': Austria's Kurz and Merkel Clash Over Migrant Quotas
Merkel may join Trump clash at Davos

"This feeling of security that she gave people is still there, in large part", said Manfred Guellner, the head of the Forsa polling agency.

The U-turn angered many grassroots Social Democrats, who believed that some time on the opposition benches would help the 150-year-old party regain its fighting spirit.

The SPD's youth and left wings oppose coalition talks and say the blueprint does not contain enough SPD hallmarks.

The failure to form a new right-left government would raise questions about the future of Ms Merkel.

She also contextualized the decline of the SPD within the wider European political landscape, arguing that other parties had lost supports regardless of Merkel and the grand coalition. Merkel - whose public image has suffered amid the gridlock - has not said whether she would lead her party in another campaign, and CDU lieutenants say they are not sure what she would do.

Germany's federal parliament is comprised of 598 seats, and a party must reach a 5 percent of the vote threshold in order to send a representative to Berlin.

"When Merkel calls it quits, a new game will begin", it said in an editorial. Merkel, whose CDU was a weak first-place finisher in the September vote, initially tried to forge a so-called "Jamaica coalition" with the business friendly Free Democrats and the pro-environment Greens.

Germany has been stuck in political limbo since September's inconclusive general election saw mainstream parties bleed support to the far-right AfD, which tapped into anger over Merkel's open-door refugee policy.

Adult film star: Trump cheated with me
Daniels also told the publication that after the encounter, Trump kept saying: " 'I'm gonna call you, I'm gonna call you. She went on a "listening tour", met with consultants and began to brainstorm possible donors.

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