Schaeuble sees new German government by mid-November

Credit: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Talks to form a German government are on track and the new administration should be in place by mid-November, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday.

An inconclusive general election result three weeks ago has left Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives looking for a coalition partner in the form of either the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) or the left-leaning Greens.

Schaeuble said he expected it to become clear in the coming week who would be the conservatives’ favoured coalition partner and hoped talks could be wound up quickly.

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“I believe it will go more quickly than you think. I believe we will have a new government by about the middle of November,” he said at a news conference on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund meetings.

Germany’s European partners are watching the coalition manoeuvring in Berlin closely, concerned that delays could push back EU-wide decisions on important crisis-fighting measures like the ambitious banking union project.

Andrea Nahles, general secretary of the SPD, has said it could take until January to form a new government. A ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD is seen as more likely than an alliance with the Greens.

Schaeuble, who has signalled a desire to stay in his post in the new government, said on Friday Germany was committed to finding a way forward on banking union before the end of the year.


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