German SPD leader says State complicit in multi-billion tax avoidance

A balloon with the logo of SPD is seen as Schulz top candidate of the SPD for the upcoming federal election gives a speech in Abensberg

SPD leader promises to push Germany to embrace Macron

BERLIN (AP) - Germany's center-left Social Democrats are discussing Thursday whether to open talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on extending their governing coalition, or at least backing a minority government.

With that in mind, Martin Schulz told a party congress that he wants the European Union to agree to a new constitutional treaty which creates a federal Europe, which can act together in policy in areas including domestic and foreign security, tax and monetary affairs and asylum and worldwide development.

SPD leader Martin Schulz, who initially said the party would go into opposition after seeing its time in the last Merkel-led "grand coalition" rewarded with bruising losses at the polls, must now convince his party to reverse that decision.

Schulz, an advocate of deeper European integration, also wants to push Germany toward embracing French President Emmanuel Macron's ideas for closer cooperation on defence, migration and euro zone economic governance.

Germany is now in the midst of major coalition talks after Merkel's centre-right CDU-CSU bloc failed to agree with the Greens and FDP on forming a new government.

Bodycam shows officer saving life of newborn baby
Officer William Eng was not one of the officers dispatched to the scene, but chose to go after realizing how close by he was. Baby and mother were then taken to the hospital where doctors said the officer's quick actions saved the little girl's life.

"There are various, equally valuable ways in which we can contribute to forming a government in this country", Schulz said. A similar call surfaced in a European Commission reform agenda on Wednesday.

"The renewal of the Social Democratic Party will happen outside a 'grand coalition, ' or it won't happen", said the leader of its youth wing, Kevin Kuehnert.

Any EU members who did not agree with this federal constitution should then automatically leave the EU, said Schulz.

The party suffered historically poor election results after both Merkel coalitions, with support slumping to a post-war low of 20.5 percent in September.

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