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Merkel seeks coalition deal with SPD as clock ticks

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Merkel seeks coalition deal with SPD as clock ticks


Chancellor Angela Merkel enters a critical week in her search for a coalition partner so she can form a new German government.

Today she has been talking with the SPD Social Democrats, and on Tuesday she sits down with the Greens. Merkel is only five seats
short of a majority although hers is by far the largest party, yet her preferred partner, Germany’s SPD, on Sunday made it far more difficult to reach a solution by making the creation of a national minimum wage a deal-breaker.

“It is common knowledge that a general minimum wage determined by law would help millions of people. It would relieve the pension system and prevent poverty for the elderly. That’s why this is a very essential SPD demand”, said the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit.

The SPD wants a minimum wage of 8.50 euros an hour. The possibility remains that several months of hard negotiations may be needed before a government can be formed, as neither the SPD nor Greens have expressed any great desire to take part in a Merkel-led coalition.

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