Merkel rules out new elections for Germany; coalition deadlock continues

Merkel's party to meet with SPD in bid to break Germany's deadlock

Seehofer told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that an alliance with the SPD was "better anyway than a coalition with the Free Democrats and Greens, new elections or a minority government".

But the SDP decided Friday to help resolve a deadlock in talks to form a coalition government, dropping its earlier refusal to consider governing with Merkel's conservatives.

Welcoming the prospect of talks with her former partner, Merkel defended the record of the last coalition.

Speaking at a CDU party conference in Kühlungsborn in Northern Germany, she said: "The people have voted".

Hubertus Heil, the party's general secretary, said: "The SDP is deeply convinced there should be discussions".

Germany has been left at a political stalemate for more than two months after the September 24th election failed to return a good result for Mrs Merkel.

Leading SPD politicians however signalled they were ready to flex their muscles.

Team effort needed to fight violence vs women: Legarda
Nearly half of the women who were killed in 2012 were killed by either partners or family members, compared to 6% of men. Pakistan is the world's third most unsafe county for women.

On Sunday, the youth wing of Merkel's Union bloc published a resolution stating that the conservatives must not enter a coalition "at any price".

The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU). "The SPD is aware of its responsibility for Germany and for Europe".

A breakthrough could come on Thursday, when President Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosts talks between Merkel, Seehofer, and Schulz.

The climbdown by Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat (SPD) leader, means that Mrs Merkel could avoid another election after the indecisive result in September.

Leading Greens lawmaker Claudia Roth told Deutschlandfunk radio that she doubted whether another GroKo was the best outcome, given its "anaesthetising" effect on the country last time.

Its leader, Paul Ziemiak, said any deal must contain recognizable conservative policies, particularly on migration and public finances.

"But it smells like it (another grand coalition)", she said.

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