Germany's Green and Free Democratic (FDP) parties will intensify coalition talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) next week, SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil said Thursday.
"We have agreed that it (the talks) will continue effective Monday. We really talked about all the topics,” Klingbeil said at a news conference in Berlin after the first round of talks with the three parties. "I can tell you that the talks were intense. But it was also marked by the fact that we want to achieve something together.”
Klingbeil said the weekend would be used "to prepare an intensive week" of exploratory talks.
FDP Secretary General Volker Wissing highlighted the "serious" nature of the exploratory talks.
"It was important to talk today because we wanted to know whether we can bridge the differences,” he said.
Everyone knew there are "subjects for which it will not be easy. That is why the three-way talks were important," said Wissing.
He expressed cautious optimism that talks next week could be successful.
Wissing's upbeat assessment was shared by his Green counterpart, Michael Kellner, who stressed that despite the differences, talks were "a strong sign.”
"There is still a long way to go, but solutions can be found in a common constellation," he said.
The three-way talks were overshadowed by the announcement of the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Armin Laschet, who said his party needs to renew itself and he is ready to soon step down from his post after the party's historic defeat in the elections.
There had been serious doubts whether the CDU is in any condition to head a new government after it suffered its worst-ever election result.
Outgoing Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz's center-left SPD narrowly won the Sept. 26 elections./aa