November 16, 2017 / 11:34 AM / 9 months ago

Failure of German coalition talks would strengthen populists: EU's Oettinger

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union’s budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Thursday he expected German parties exploring a three-way ‘Jamaica’ coalition government to strike a deal, warning that a failure of talks would damage Europe and strengthen populists.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks as she arrives for exploratory talks at the German Parliamentary Society about forming a new coalition government in Berlin, Germany, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

“There will be a Jamaica coalition ... nobody wants new elections,” Oettinger told a business conference in Berlin.

The possible three-way alliance Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to form is also called a ‘Jamaica coalition’ because the parties’ colors match those of the Caribbean country’s flag.

The Social Democrats (SPD), the second biggest party in the Bundestag lower house after Merkel’s conservatives bloc, have decided to rebuild their forces in opposition after suffering their worst election result since 1933.

Reporting by Reinhard Becker and Gernot Heller; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel

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