German SPD leader says still 'big hurdles' to clear in coalition talks

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 11, 2018 3:40 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Social Democrat (SPD) leader Martin Schulz said on Thursday his party had found common ground with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in many areas but there were still "big hurdles" to clear before they could agree to join a governing coalition.

The two parties enter their final day of exploratory talks on Thursday - more than three months after a national election - before deciding whether to progress to full-blown coalition talks.

Schulz said the SPD would only agree to form a coalition if it was sure such a government would strengthen Europe, adding that his party would make suggestions on how to do that during Thursday's talks.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Madeline Chambers)