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Crucial week for German coalition talks

Crucial week for German coalition talks
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Coalition talks look set to bear fruit this week for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat rivals.

But while the big hitters settle their differences, the grassroots may not be convinced and political heads could roll.

Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats or SPD has vowed to quit unless the rank and file backs a coalition deal.

And Der Spiegel magazine says scepticism is high among party members who will be asked to vote on it next month. Many are wary after the SPD suffered in Merkel’s shadow in a similar coalition from 2005 to 2009.

Gabriel is trying to win local branches over by meeting them on their home turf.

A deal is expected by Wednesday with Merkel’s CDU party which needs a partner after failing to win a parliamentary majority at the polls in September.

The SPD looks to have got its way on the introduction of a nationwide minimum wage although full details of the measure have not yet been revealed.

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