German SPD chief says open to talks on coalition with Merkel

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2013 8:35 AM
German SPD chief says open to talks on coalition with Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - The chairman of Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) said on Monday his party was open to talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives on a coalition after Sunday's election but the party would not automatically agree to share power.

"There is a search for a possible formation of a government and the result is open," the SPD's Sigmar Gabriel told reporters after Merkel's conservatives received most votes on Sunday but remained in need of a coalition partner.

Gabriel added that if Merkel invited his party to talks, the SPD would not refuse.

Merkel said earlier she had been in contact with the SPD, the second-biggest party. However, many SPD members are reluctant to enter a 'grand coalition' with Merkel and the party is likely to take a tough stance in any negotiations.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen, Writing by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Gareth Jones)