Schulz ready for tense talks with Merkel

Germany's Merkel will enter talks with Bavarian ally, SPD to find coalition partner: official

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives urged Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) not to block a last-ditch attempt to cobble together a governing coalition by drawing policy red lines that could prolong deadlock in Europe's largest economy, Reuters reports.

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.

Schulz had originally vowed to return to the opposition benches with his party following their poor performance in September's federal elections and only recently softened his position when "Jamaica" coalition talks between the CDU, CSU, Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Greens (Gruene) collapsed.

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".

"Whoever circulates false reports destroys trust", he said.

"We have many options for forming a government".

The SPD will hold a party congress in Berlin on December 7-9, where it is expected to debate its options.

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Commenting on the SDP's possible coalition with the Conservatives, Schulz has stated that it is not "automatic", adding that the party would discuss alternatives at a meeting next week.

However, several leading Social Democrat politicians have supported a coalition or are backing a minority CDU/CSU government.

Friends of Germany and Europe around the world have been breathing a sigh of relief at the newfound willingness of Germany's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats (SPD) to discuss reprising their grand coalition government.

"Germany's European politics must change", Mr Schulz, a former president of the European parliament, told the magazine.

A rebellion is already brewing over entering into a new grand coalition, known as "GroKo" in German.

"Giving Emmanuel Macron a positive answer will be a key element in every negotiation with the SPD", Mr Schulz was quoted as saying in an interview on Friday.

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