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Germany Sets Coalition Talks Date as Weeks of Bartering Loom

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said it will hold exploratory talks with the Social Democrats at the end of the week as each side dug in for the prospect of months of negotiations to form a government.

As the threat of renewed crisis in the euro area emanating from Italy raised pressure for an agreement, senior members of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union meeting in Berlin today announced that talks would be convened at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4. The CDU backing follows the SPD’s decision at the end of last week to enter into exploratory negotiations with its main rival.