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Germany’s Kingmaker Demands High Price to Crown Scholz

  • FDP’s Lindner stops short of ruling out coalition with SPD
  • Scholz must make an ‘attractive offer,’ party leader says
Christian Lindner in Berlin, on Sept. 2.
Christian Lindner in Berlin, on Sept. 2.Photographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg
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Germany’s Free Democrats stopped short of ruling out a coalition with front-runner Olaf Scholz, but the chairman of the pro-business party made it clear that the price for any alliance with the Social Democrats would be steep. 

The comments show that Scholz’s unlikely surge to become the favorite to succeed Angela Merkel after the Sept. 26 election doesn’t mean his path to the chancellorship will be easy. With a fragmented political landscape after 16 years of Merkel rule, polls show that Scholz’s best shot to form a government is a cumbersome three-way alliance with the Green party and the FDP.