Schulz urges SPD to approve Merkel govt talks, vows to push key demands Dec 08, 2017 0 46 12345 AFPBerlinThe chief of Germany's Social Democrats pleaded with his party on Thursday to allow him to start exploratory talks on joining or backing Chancellor Angela Merkel in a government, promising to push key demands especially on strengthening the EU.Ten weeks after inconclusive elections left German politics in a stalemate, Martin Schulz urged his divided centre-left SPD to vote in favour of launching open-ended talks that could lead them to join Merkel in another"grand coalition" or tolerate a minority government.Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, vowed to extract a high price if the SPD supports Merkel for a fourth term from early 2018 at the helm of Europe's biggest economy.He demanded Berlin join French President Macron and other proponents of major EU reforms in boosting the bloc and its currency union, including by raising investment and giving the eurozone a common finance minister and budget.In his hour-long speech, Schulz made a passionate call for a"United States of Europe" by 2025, which will mark the 100th anniversary of an SPD meeting that first proposed such a federal union."Europe is our life insurance," said Schulz."It is the only chance we have to keep up with the other great regions of the world." Schulz said only a more united EU could meet major challenges such as combating climate change, managing mass migration or stopping multinational companies from dodging taxes.He argued that only a strengthened EU would stop the advance of right-wing nationalists, citing gains they had made in Germany as well as Austria, Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES EU sues Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic over quotas Dec 08, 2017 0 381 France to pay 'national homage' to rocker Johnny Hallyday Dec 08, 2017 0 41 UK needs to regain borders, cash control from EU: Johnson Dec 08, 2017 0 43 EU's Tusk to make Brexit statement today REUTERS BRUSSELS European Council President Donald Tusk will make a statement on Brexit early today, his office said on Thursday, prompting speculation on the fate of British Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for .. Swiss border guard convicted over Syrian refugee's miscarriage AFP Geneva A Swiss military court on Thursday convicted a border guard for refusing medical assistance to a heavily pregnant Syrian refugee who miscarried while being sent back to Italy. The guard was found guilty of .. Italian police arrest man for poisoning family AFP Rome Italian police said Thursday they arrested a man who used thallium, used in rat poison, to murder two grandparents and an aunt because he claimed they were"unclean". Maria Luisa Zanetti, the prosecutor from the .. Post-Brexit UK 'won't fall apart': EU's Dijsselbloem Brussels Britain's City of London financial hub centre"will not fall apart" after Brexit even if it loses the right to allow banks to trade freely across the bloc, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on .. Poland ready to defend migration stance WARSAW Poland is ready to defend its decision in the European Union's top court to refuse to accept migrants from Africa and the Middle East under an EU plan to redistribute them, Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad .. Swiss border guard convicted for Syrian refugee's miscarriage Geneva A Swiss military court convicted a border guard for refusing medical assistance to a heavily pregnant Syrian refugee who miscarried while being sent back to Italy. The guard was found guilty of causing bodily harm ..