Germany’s opposition Free Democrats have rejected the idea of forming a coalition with the Social Democrats in any post-election government.
FDP party leader Guido Westerwelle told supporters at a rally in Potsdam that a three-way deal with the SPD and the Greens was not on the cards. Such a combination is seemingly the biggest threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel and a second term Westerwelle said:” Our position is crystal clear. We want a new majority. Because the programmes of Social Democrats and Greens are too expensive, we are not willing to “facilitate a majority” for the reds and greens.” The latest polls ahead of next Sunday’s vote put Merkel’s CDU on around 36 percent with their main left of centre rivals the Social Democrats attracting about a quarter of the electorate. A possible deal between the SPD, FDP and the Greens has been called a so-called traffic-light coalition. With all leaders out to woo the voters – including protesting dairy farmers – Westerwelle’s message will have been music to Angela Merkel’s ears. She prefers the business-friendly Free Democrats. In fact Merkel’s Christian Democrats have, over the last few weeks, launched a major charm offensive to get them on side. Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Social Democrats do not seem to have given up on the FDP. They say they are still hoping to leave the door open by claiming to have “overlapping interests.” Steinmeier believes education, civil rights and foreign policy could be fertile ground for both parties.