3 parties to enter coalition talks for next German govt

Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP), Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens have agreed to enter official coalition negotiations to form a new government.

On October 15, the SPD was the first of the three parties to speak out in favour of negotiations, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Greens followed suit on Sunday, agreeing to negotiate the formation of a so-called traffic light coalition.

“One goal is pursued by all, that we will be finished before Christmas and have formed a new government,” SPD’s Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz said in an interview with public broadcaster ARD last week.

Meanwhile, the Greens said via Twitter after their decision to hold official negotiations on Sunday: “We have the chance to take responsibility and play a decisive role in this progressive government.”

The parties have already tried to find common ground during first exploratory talks; while the SPD and Greens have the greatest political overlap on social questions, the FDP is dedicated to the topics of digitization and finance.

However, they all agree that Germany’s efforts to fight climate change must be intensified, and an agreement is expected on the legalisation of cannabis.

In an interview with Bild TV on Sunday, FDP leader Christian Lindner spoke out in favour of allowing cannabis products such as hashish to be sold in a controlled manner.

Consumers should “be allowed to purchase a quantity for their own use, for example, in a pharmacy after health education”, he said.