German Parties Begin Formal Talks on New “Grand Coalition”

(From AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of two smaller parties met Friday for the start of formal negotiations on forming a new governing coalition, some four months after voters went to the polls.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, its Bavaria-only sister party and the center-left Social Democrats all took a beating in last September’s national election, which saw strong gains for an upstart nationalist party that had campaigned against immigration.

The long-time chancellor’s attempts at entering into a previously untested coalition with the Greens and pro-business Free Democrats failed last year, contributing to a delay in forming a government unprecedented in post-war German history.

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