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German FM Calls EU Reform Condition for SPD, CDU/CSU Coalition Talks

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The convergence of views on EU reform is necessary to begin the coalition talks between the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the alliance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said.

"It has not been decided yet if there is any point in entering into negotiations on the formation of the coalition. One thing is clear: if the chancellor's institution continues rejecting all the proposals on the reform of the European Union, there will be no coalition with the SPD," Gabriel, who is a SPD member, said in an interview with the German Bild newspaper.

According to Gabriel, the second condition should be a consensus on the issue of health insurance.

Earlier in the month, Martin Schulz, the SPD leader, said that the party's leadership had agreed to start preliminary talks with the CDU/CSU alliance on forming a coalition government.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier offered the CDU/CSU and the SPD to launch coalition talks after the failure of negotiations for the "Jamaica coalition." The two largest German parties accepted the initiative.

Social Demoratic Party top candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, speaks at the party's headquarters in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 one day after the parliament elections - Sputnik International
German SPD, CDU-CSU Agree to Launch Long-Awaited Coalition Talks on Jan 7
Following the election, the German Free Democratic Party (FDP) announced its withdrawal from the coalition talks with the union of the CDU/CSU and the Greens (prospective 'Jamaica coalition'). 

Germany held a parliamentary election on September 24. The CDU/CSU alliance won the election with 33 percent of votes and secured 246 seats in the parliament, while the SPD, came second with 20.5 percent of votes, which is equivalent to 153 seats in the Bundestag.

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