Chancellor Schroeder calls Angela Merkel's party 'grand coalition'

Outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder urged his Social Democratic Party on Monday to approve entering a new, conservative-led German coalition government. "I wanted to speak because I would like to ask for your approval for the 'grand coalition'," Schroeder told some 500 delegates at a party conference, referring to the coalition with Chancellor-designate Angela Merkel's conservatives.

"German voters made their decision on Sept 18," he said. "Democrats ... have to deal respectfully and appropriately with that," according to the AP.

Voters said that "we want the SPD to govern," he added. "It has become clear that Germans want cooperation that goes far beyond the political camps to date."

"I will put it mildly: all of us would be ill advised to not take this chance."


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