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German Greens’ Co-Leader Says Coalition With Merkel Not Credible

Germany’s Katrin Goering-Eckardt, a top Greens party candidate in the Sept. 22 federal election, said a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party would lack credibility because the two sides are too far apart.

Goering-Eckardt, who may become the Greens’ next parliamentary caucus chief after Juergen Trittin said he won’t run for that position again, said Germany can’t afford a shaky government in the “difficult times” the euro region still faces.

“That would not only lack credibility after this election campaign, after this programmatic positioning, but also wouldn’t be helpful when it comes to the stability of a government,” Goering-Eckardt said today on Deutschlandfunk public radio.

Green party reluctance to form a coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, narrows Merkel’s choices to form a government after some Social Democrats called for a party referendum before any talks about a grand coalition with Merkel’s bloc.

“When I look at what the CSU in particular has done in recent weeks, then that has little to do with the claim for modernization we represent,” Goering-Eckardt said. “I’m firmly of the opinion that the Greens now have the task to develop the path of autonomy on which they have already embarked more clearly.”

Merkel approached the SPD on Sept. 23 as she began the search for a third-term coalition partner to leverage the biggest electoral victory in 23 years. The chancellor said SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel asked her to hold off until his party leaders meet on Sept. 27 to consider coalition options.

Axel Schaefer, a Social Democrat who represents lawmakers from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, told the Rheinische Post newspaper the SPD needs a party referendum to decide on a possible re-run of the 2005-2009 grand coalition with Merkel’s bloc. Florian Pronold, SPD leader in Bavaria, said in the Bild-Zeitung newspaper such a referendum is “obligatory.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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