Germany’s SPD announces exploratory coalition talks with Merkel’s Union

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Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Friday announced that it would start exploratory talks with the Conservatives Union for another grand coalition government.

Martin Schulz, chairman of the SPD, announced the decision at a press conference after a meeting of the party’s executive committee, saying the talks would begin at the end of January in an open and constructively manner.

The SPD will convene a party congress on January 14, when all of the party members will vote on the results of the exploratory talks.

The SPD decided to start open-ended talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister Christian Social Union (CSU) that would lead to three options, including grand coalition, acceptance of a Union-led minority government, or snap elections if government formation fails.

Schulz said he would meet Merkel and other CDU and SPD leaders before Christmas to discuss the form the talks would take.

He added “There are different models of how a stable government can be formed.”

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