November 20, 2017 / 12:35 PM / 2 years ago

Germany's SPD not available for government after talks fail

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats are still not available to join Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in a continuation of their “grand coalition” government after talks with other parties failed, a party document showed on Monday.

“Given the results of the Sept. 24 election, we are not available for entry into a grand coalition,” read a SPD paper due to be discussed by party leaders that was obtained by Reuters. “We are not afraid of new elections.”

The comments came after Merkel’s efforts to form a three-way coalition government failed, pitching Germany into its worse political crisis for decades, raising the prospect of fresh elections and casting doubt over her future.

The SPD won just 20.5 percent in the September election, its worst post-war result after it lost stature as junior partner in the often awkward coalition dominated by Merkel.

Reporting by Marcus Wasket, Holger Hansen, writing by Emma Thomasson, editing by Thomas Escritt

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