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German conservatives, FDP to hold talks on Sunday - sources

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By Reuters

By Andreas Rinke

BERLIN -Germany’s conservatives and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) have agreed to hold talks about a possible coalition government on Sunday, people in the CDU/CSU conservative bloc said on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives were narrowly beaten https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germans-vote-close-election-decide-merkel-successor-2021-09-25 by the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in last Sunday’s election. Both would need to team up https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/blending-chalk-cheese-assembling-government-germany-2021-09-28 with the Greens and FDP – which came third and fourth in the vote – to reach a majority.

CDU leader Armin Laschet, who led the conservatives to their worst-ever result in the election, and Markus Soeder, leader of the Bavarian CSU sister party, will meet with FDP leader Christian Lindner on Sunday, the people in the conservative bloc said.

A separate meeting of the conservatives and the Greens is planned for early next week, they said.

The planned meeting of the CDU/CSU and the FDP was first reported by Spiegel magazine.

The Greens and FDP have already held exploratory talks with each other this week aimed at bridging differences over taxation, debt, and the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

The Greens said although the first round with the FDP was positive, they remained at odds over which larger partner to join in a coalition. The Greens prefer a coalition led by the SPD while the FDP say the CDU/CSU are their preferred partners.

The SPD and conservatives, who have governed together under outgoing Chancellor Merkel for the last eight years, have ruled out a repeat of their alliance.