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Merkel's Party Throws Support Behind Grand Coalition, But 'Not At Any Price'

Merkel's Party Throws Support Behind Grand Coalition, But 'Not At Any Price'

Although Merkel's bloc is still the biggest group in parliament, it needs the support of either the SPD, which has the second-largest group in parliament, or two smaller parties to form a government.

Talks with the SPD should be based on "mutual respect" and "compromise", she added.

According to several media reports, the leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SDP) Martin Schulz said he will not stand in the way of his party forming a "grand coalition" with Merkel's conservatives, signalling a potential end to a lengthy deadlock over the formation of a new German government.Schulz had previously ruled out entering into another "grand coalition" with Merkel after his party suffered its worst ever result in the federal elections in September.

Merkel's CDU/CSU failed to create a three-way government with the pro-business FDP and the Greens, after weeks-long negotiations which followed the September 24 federal election.

The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

Schulz later Monday struck a somewhat skeptical note about the meeting, telling reporters that he would talk with Merkel and Seehofer about "if and in which form" they would continue discussions and "if it even makes sense to continue to talk with one another".

Panic Breaks Out on Oxford Street Amid Reports of 'Gunfire'
British Transport Police had released photos of the two men on Friday night and appealed for information about the incident. The area, full of big-name chain shops and department stores, was packed with shoppers browsing Black Friday sales.

In a foretaste of the forthcoming wrangling, Seehofer warned that the SPD must not set too many conditions. Yet, returning to the so-called "grand coalition" between the natural rivals could be seen by many as a betrayal.

She appeared to walk back that statement on Saturday, however, telling her fellow CDU members that "if we can't do anything with the (election) result, we cannot ask the people to vote again".

After four hours of talks with leading CDU politicians on Sunday in Berlin, the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Guenther said that the CDU "firmly intends that there be an effective government", which is not a minority government but a "grand coalition".

Acting chancellor Merkel keeping her job at any cost despite her party achieving just 32 per cent of the votes cast may also fly in the face of the desires of the majority of Germans.

However, the SPD is drawing up a lengthy list of demands in return for agreeing to a coalition, according to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Higher taxes for the rich, as well as a higher inheritance tax, would be used to pay "for education, communities and housing".


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