Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Merkel could be ready to lead a minority German government, minister says

Merkel could be ready to lead a minority German government, minister says

Martin Schulz said any countries who disagree should follow Britain's example and leave the bloc.

The 61-year-old has been in the spotlight since talks to form a coalition between the chancellor's conservative alliance, the pro-business Free Democrats and the Greens collapsed last month, plunging Germany into political uncertainty. A Europe that is no threat to its member states, but a beneficial addition.

I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe.

"Only a strong Europe can force platform giants like Facebook and Google to respect our rules and basic rights", he said.

Despite this, Schulz has the tacit backing of most party leaders - with some misgivings - and has also received considerable support from political leaders in Europe, who have urged him to be fearless and step up for the sake of European stability. 'It is the only chance we have to keep up with the other great regions of the world'.

"France is making proposals and Germany is not engaging".

Schulz, a former head of the European Parliament, said a pre-condition for entering such talks would be "an about-face in European policy".

The SPD was critical of the Republic's role in the worldwide taxation system last month too, voting against an Irish request to restructure crisis-era loans to save €150 million in interest repayments.

'God knows that the European Union can't afford another four years of German policies on Europe in the style of Wolfgang Schaeuble, ' he said to applause from 600 delegates.

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