Germany’s liberals and Greens have decided to hold three-way exploratory talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) to form a coalition government, party leaders announced on Wednesday.
Christian Lindner, leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), said they are ready to begin discussions with the Social Democrats this week to see whether the parties can find common ground to form the country’s next government.
“We have accepted the Greens’ proposal to begin three-way exploratory talks with the SPD,” Lindner told a news conference in Berlin after internal discussions among top party officials.
Lindner said he has told Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s chancellor candidate, that the parties’ first meeting can take place on Thursday.
The FDP leader added that he expects the meeting will happen tomorrow.
The Social Democrats narrowly won the Sept. 26 elections but fell short of a majority in the parliament, while the two smaller parties – the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business FDP – emerged as kingmakers, with major coalition scenarios now depending on their decisions.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Greens’ co-chairwoman Annalena Baerbock announced that her party wants to enter into formal coalition talks with the SPD and the FDP.
“After our internal discussions, we made a decision. It would be reasonable now to have much deeper talks with the SPD and the FDP. We propose this to the FDP to move to three-way coalition talks,” she told a news conference in Berlin.
In the last couple of weeks, the Greens and the FDP held bilateral talks with both the SPD and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc to discuss various coalition options.
The leaders of the Greens and the FDP underlined on Wednesday that while they are entering into talks with the SPD, a “Jamaica coalition” with the Christian Democrats still remains an option.
Despite his election defeat, CDU/CSU’s chancellor candidate Armin Laschet met with the Green party leaders on Tuesday and said their differences were not insurmountable, proposing talks for a three-way coalition with the Free Democrats.
CDU’s former leader Merkel, who is quitting active politics after 16 years in power, will remain chancellor until a new coalition government is formed.