A new coalition government in Germany has moved a step closer after the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed to start negotiations with Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
The German chancellor fell just short of an outright majority in last month’s elections.
It’s former coalition partners, the Free Democrats, failed to win any seats, forcing Merkel to look elsewhere.
Leaders of the centre-left SPD have now unanimously backed entering formal coalition talks with Merkel’s conservatives. SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel said the agreement came after a third round of exploratory talks between the two camps. Formal negotiations are expected to begin on Wednesday.
The move comes a day after the environmentalist Greens ended exploratory talks with Merkel’s conservatives, leaving a ‘grand coalition’ with the SPD as the only real alternative for the