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

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

"I want there to be a constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe", Schulz said Thursday during a speech at a party convention in Berlin, as he urged his party to clear the way for talks with Angela Merkel's conservatives which could lead to a new German government and put an end to an unprecedented coalition deadlock.

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.

It reinforced its refusal to join a new coalition after Merkel's talks with two smaller parties collapsed last month.

The reluctance of the rank and file does not bode well for Mrs Merkel's hopes of resuming the so-called grand coalition between her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the centre-left party. Later on Thursday, SPD delegates are set to vote on a motion submitted by the party's leadership laying out the prerequisites to enter negotiations with the chancellor. "One thing is certain - we can't just carry on as before", SPD parliamentary leader Andrea Nahles, told the Bild newspaper.

He said the renewal of the SPD can not be placed above the interests of the nation.

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.

But SPD vice-president Aydan Ozoguz warned against "repeated skirmishes" over refugee rights, noting that Germany was no longer receiving hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East as it had in 2015.

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