German SPD Leadership Agrees Talks to Stay in Merkel Government

(Bloomberg) — Leaders of Germany’s Social Democrats decided to seek talks to remain in Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s government that include demands for a “massive” increase in infrastructure spending and a higher minimum wage.

The proposal was laid out by the SPD’s newly-elected leaders on Thursday and has yet to be approved by a party convention in Berlin beginning on Friday. The Social Democrats also want more aggressive measures to combat climate change.

“We will have talks with our coalition partner on this,” said Norbert Walter-Borjans, who was elected co-chief of the party last weekend. “We have always said that quitting the coalition is not an end in itself.”

Despite some back-peddling by the SPD, its negotiations with Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc won’t be easy. Reopening the debate over a climate package that took months to secure will find little support among the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU. Equally, an increased minimum wage could become a major bone of contention.

–With assistance from Iain Rogers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Birgit Jennen in Berlin at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at [email protected], Raymond Colitt, Chris Reiter

For more articles like this, please visit us at

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.