Germany: 'Political substance is there' for Grand Coalition talks - SPD's Schulz

The grand coalition blueprint has enough "political substance" to start official negotiations, said SPD leader Martin Schulz, before meeting SPD members in the western city of Dusseldorf, Tuesday.

Outside the building in Dusseldorf, where the meeting took place, two dozen young SPD members staged a protest against the grand coalition, or "GroKo", with Merkel’s Christian Democrats-Social Union (CDU/CSU) alliance. They held placards reading "GroKo is rubbish" and "GroKo – no, thanks" and chanted slogans like "GroKo never again."

SOT, Martin Schulz, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) leader (German): "The political substance needed to conduct coalition negotiations is there. Here I want to emphasise that coalition negotiations are something different to the initial talks. Initial talks means we're trying to get to the bottom of whether coalition negotiations will happen, whether they make sense."

SOT, Martin Schulz, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) leader (German): "The deciding point that the SPD can draw out from the government is to improve our country by strengthening society through the renewal of the solidarity system, from education through to retirement and healthcare, through investing in the construction of social housing and strengthening of local authorities."

SOT, Martin Schulz, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) leader (German): "There's the chance to bring Europe towards a direction that gives a generation in other European countries, without the prospect of jobs and education, the chance to experience the solidarity of this continent through targeted investment in the growth policy of Europe. That alone would make it worth supporting this project, and for that I'm campaigning tonight with my colleagues."

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