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Merkel Calls for Deal as Make-or-Break Government Talks Begin

  • ‘We have to reach agreement,’ chancellor’s Bavarian ally says
  • Europe’s top economy stuck in extended political stalemate
Angela Merkel in Berlin on Jan. 7. 

Angela Merkel in Berlin on Jan. 7. 

Photographer: Jorg Carstensen/DPA via Getty Images

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Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany needs a stable government to tackle “enormous” tasks ahead as she began make-or-break talks to renew her alliance with the Social Democrats and open the door to a fourth term.

More than three months of post-election stalemate in Europe’s biggest economy are focusing minds as Merkel, 63, seeks to avoid facing voters again or governing without a majority. The acting chancellor’s Christian Democratic-led bloc and the SPD began exploratory talks on Sunday amid a growing sense that their political futures are at stake.