SPD-CDU "grand coalition" for Germany on hold

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By Robert Hackwill
Delegates argued through the night about taking the SPD into a coalition

Talks to form a new German "Grand coalition" have continued throughout the night but there is still no word of a final agreement.

Angela Merkel's conservative CDU and the centre-left SPD are wrangling over Labour reforms and healthcare.

However, even if a deal is reached it is not certain the SPD's rank and file will accept it when, according to party rules, it is put to a vote.

Over the last few days the SPD has suddenly gained more than 24,000 new members. Opponents to a coalition have been campaigning hard under the slogan: "Join, and say no".

The result of an SPD vote will be known in three or four weeks.