Berlin, January 22: Since many months Germany was struggling for a stable government formation. This situation has now seen a ray of hope as Germany's Social Democrats voted Sunday to open talks on forming a new government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives after party leaders urged members to overcome their apprehensions for the good of the country and stability of Europe.
Although Merkel's political alliance emerged as the largest group in last elections, its support was significantly dented. Since then, Merkel has struggled to put together a viable coalition. At the party meeting, 362 delegates voted "yes" while 279 voted against the talks. The vote was a major step toward ending the political gridlock that has prevented a new government from being formed since September's election. Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz called it "a key moment in the history of our party."
Merkel welcomed the decision, telling reporters she hoped to be able to soon build a "stable government that can tackle the questions of the future." "There's still a lot of work before us, but it should be goal-oriented, intensive and in a sensible atmosphere despite all of the controversial issues," she said.
But after the vote, Schulz pledged to negotiate hard for more concessions on labor, health and migration policies.
"We are now starting with the negotiations, and we will come back to all these points," he said, adding that the agreed-upon prerequisites were "no coalition agreement."