December 15, 2017 / 2:03 PM / a year ago

German SPD leaders vote to start exploratory talks with conservatives

Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Martin Schulz gives a statement at their party headquarters in Berlin, Germany, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Leaders of Germany’s Social Democrats have voted unanimously to begin exploratory talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives about forming a coalition government, Andreas Nahles, head of the SPD’s parliamentary group, said on Friday.

Nahles said party leaders would work on substantive issues in the talks, with a party conference in January to determine the way forward.

She said the SPD, which suffered its worst post-war election losses in September, planned to enter the talks with an open and constructive attitude with an eye to improving the lives of ordinary Germans.

Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Andrea Shalal, editing by Thomas Escritt

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