Germany's SPD spells out coalition conditions but no decision until party conference

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the 5th African Union- European Union summit in Abidjan Ivory Coast

A senior German conservative said on Friday that his party was prepared to go into coalition talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) after party leaders met with the president late on Thursday to try to put an end to political impasse in Germany.

SPD representatives subsequently told press that Schulz informed German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer on Thursday that no coalition talks could take place prior to the upcoming SPD party conference next week.

The chairman said the SPD's executive committee would discuss various options on Monday, and make a proposal which would be discussed at SPD's party conference from December 7 to 9 in Berlin.

Although Merkel's bloc is still the biggest group in the parliament, it needs the support of either the SPD, which is the second largest group in Bundestag, or two smaller parties to form a government.

After September's election left the veteran leader without a majority and the SPD with a historic low score, the labour party firmly rejected ruling again Merkel's shadow.

"I can clearly deny the report about me having given the green light for grand coalition talks".

Schulz said he had telephoned the CDU leader to say that any such claims from her conservatives to the media would be viewed as "a breach of trust".

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Schulz said a grand coalition was "not automatic" and that the SPD party convention would also discuss other alternatives.

"Berlin can not perpetually answer suggestions from the French president with a no", he said.

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options.

Should it come to grand coalition negotiations, Schulz indicated he would push for the new government to become even more engaged at the European level, including standing behind French President Emmanuel Macron's push for broad reforms.

"The decisive question is what do we want to implement, what can we implement - for example in the renewal of the European Union", Schulz said.

"We have many options for forming a government". But for the SPD the situation isn't almost as clear.

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