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German Parties Push Ahead in Tricky Quest for New Coalition

  • Free Democrats emphasize differences with Social Democrats
  • Parties holding exploratory talks on post-Merkel government
Olaf Scholz
Olaf ScholzPhotographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg
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Germany’s Social Democrats under chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz signaled progress in talks with the Greens on forming a coalition government with the Free Democrats, while Angela Merkel’s bloc kept the door ajar for a conservative-led alliance.

“The SPD is ready to start talks about a three-way coalition,” SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil told reporters. He was speaking late Sunday after the Social Democrats held separate talks with the two smaller parties on an alliance that would make Scholz the next chancellor.