Germany's SPD: No decision on entering coalition talks

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected new elections and wanted to form a new government quickly, as a outcome of the failed government coalition talks with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens.

Schulz was speaking after attending a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier late on Thursday that aimed to end political deadlock in Europe's largest economy.

Schulz told reporters Friday that they'd agreed to keep their discussions confidential, but that he was now prepared to discuss with his party's leadership on Monday all options, including re-forming a grand coalition.

Mr Schulz and Mrs Merkel met on Thursday night to discuss a possible new coalition or SPD support for a minority government, and initial reports suggested the talks had gone well.

According to him, relations between Angela Merkel's alliance of conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Free Democrats remained good even after talks to form the so-called Jamaica coalition fell through.

Contradicting a report by Bild newspaper, Schulz said the party leaders had not agreed to start talks on a new "grand coalition".

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Merkel this week said she hoped to talk with the Social Democrats "in a serious, engaged, honest way and obviously with the intention of success".

Ahead of that congress, which will also decide whether to re-elect Schulz as chief of the SPD, the party's top brass has been careful to tread softly regarding its options.

Noting that his party and Merkel's bloc continue to govern as a caretaker government, he said "we have no time pressure" and would "not rule out any options".

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options. Merkel has said in the past she does not want to lead a minority government.

Schulz, a former president of the European Parliament, is pushing for changes in Germany's approach to the European Union and in economic and social policy.

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".

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