Martin Schulz, then President of the European Parliament, arrives for the EU summit meeting at Brussels, Belgium on June 28, 2016. (Xinhua/Gong Bing)
BERLIN, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz made incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel an offer on Monday to join his cabinet as vice-chancellor should he win the chancellorship in Germany's looming national elections.
"I aim to become Chancellor. And if Ms. Merkel wants to enter my cabinet, she is welcome to do so as Vice-Chancellor," Schulz told press in Berlin.
But his comment were received with surprise, given Merkel's enduring comfortable lead over rivals in the polls on the one hand, and earlier statements by Schulz in which he appeared to reject the idea of forming another "grand coalition" between the SPD and Merkel's Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/SCU) on the other.
Schulz insisted, however, that he did not pay attention to opinion polls.
Despite his offer to Merkel, the SPD leader further reiterated his desire to "end the current grand coalition."
"Whoever wants to remove Merkel must vote for Schulz and the SPD," Schulz said.
He further outlined proposals in the areas of wages, free education, pensions, and EU policy that any party wishing to join the SPD's new government formation must agree upon, should the party emerge victorious in the federal parliamentary elections on Sept. 24.