The leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party, The Christian Democratic Union, said she would have liked a clear signal from its junior governing partner that it intends to stay in Merkel's coalition, and is deeply sceptical about its calls for new concessions, AFP reported on Sunday December 8th.
"It's bad for Germany when every important decision depends on how the SPD is feeling at that moment," Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Merkel's CDU conservatives, told the Bild am Sonntag daily.
The Social Democrat convention rejected a call from left-wingers to leave the government immediately, but left open when a decision would be made on whether the party stays or goes.
Merkel's bloc confirmed it has no intention of radically renegotiating the accord underpinning the “grand coalition” of what were traditionally Germany's biggest parties.
The SPD backed them to open "discussions" with Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc on demands including a higher minimum wage, more public investment and more climate action.
There is currently no agreement about timeframe, but talks could start as early as this week, according to German media.
If no progress is made, the SPD could call it quits, potentially upending Merkel's plan to complete her fourth term before retiring from politics in 2021.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, seen as Merkel's preferred successor, said she had hoped for a "clearer commitment" from the SPD to continue governing.
She slammed the party for trying to tweak the hard-fought coalition agreement clinched after 2017's inconclusive general elections, pointing out that leadership changes at the CDU and CSU never put the left-right coalition at stake.