The three parties hoping to form Germany’s next coalition government – the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) – say they are aiming to have a new administration in place in December.
The SPD’s Olaf Scholz could be elected chancellor in the second week of December, according to FDP secretary general Volker Wissing and his SPD counterpart Lars Klingbeil on Thursday.
The proposed timetable was announced on the first day of full coalition negotiations in Berlin.
Wissing said that a coalition contract should be ready by the end of November, and that the new chancellor should be elected and the new government formed in the week beginning December 6.
It would mean that Scholz, currently finance minister, would be the first chancellor to lead Germany after Angela Merkel, who was elected in 2005.
The SPD became the strongest party in the Bundestag elections at the end of September, but the fragmented result meant that three parties would have to work together to achieve a governing majority.
The only alternative to a three-party arrangement was a repeat of the current “grand coalition” of SPD and centre-right parties, which has been rejected by both sides.
Klingbeil said that individual working groups – numbering 22 in total – would start talks next Wednesday, and form joint positions by November 10. These positions would then be incorporated into the main coalition negotiations.
Text by Theresa Munch, and photo: Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH