Germany’s Social Democrats, who narrowly won Sunday’s national election ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, said on Tuesday they hoped to talk to the Greens and Free Democrats later this week about forming a three-way government.
The Greens and the liberal FDP, who are far apart on many issues, have said they will first talk to each other to seek areas of compromise before starting negotiations with either the SPD or the conservatives.
SPD parliamentary party leader Rolf Muetzenich said he welcomed the initiative of the two smaller parties to smooth out their differences, but he still wanted to talk to the potential partners in a three-way coalition this week.
“It would be good if the Greens and the FDP would also concentrate on meeting with us this week for exploratory talks,” Muetzenich told German radio.
Olaf Scholz, the candidate to become the first SPD chancellor since Merkel took over in 2005, said he was hopeful about progress.
“I am optimistic. We will manage to build a coalition with pragmatism and readiness to cooperate,” Scholz said on Twitter.