German Greens vote to enter government coalition talks


FILE PHOTO: German's Social Democratic Party (SPD) top candidate for Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives to a meeting for exploratory talks for a possible new government coalition, in Berlin, Germany, October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Green party on Sunday followed its prospective partner, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), in clearing the way for official three-way negotiations with the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) to form the next government.

Delegates at a Green party conference in Berlin voted in favour of starting negotiations in earnest following initial explorative meetings, which could see the SPD's Olaf Scholz succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor.

The targeted "traffic light" alliance - named after the parties' red, yellow and green colours - would be led by the SPD which came first in last month's election.

A final coalition agreement, which Scholz hopes to strike before Christmas, would again be subject to an all-member Green party vote.

The FDP has yet to give an official go-ahead.

Scholz is currently finance minister and vice-chancellor in the outgoing government coalition between Merkel's conservatives and their junior partner, the SPD. He announced on Friday https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/german-spd-greens-fdp-leaders-want-formal-coalition-talks-2021-10-15 that he and the leaders of the smaller Greens and FDP aimed to move into formal coalition talks.

The Greens and FDP have kept open the option of turning to the conservatives, who have been in office for the last 16 years, should talks with the SPD stumble.

(Reporting by Christian Kraemer und Holger Hansen; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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