January 3, 2018 / 5:33 PM / a year ago

Germany's would-be coalition partners optimistic before exploratory talks

(Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) that she hopes to win as coalition partners both said they were optimistic about upcoming talks on possibly forming a government after their leaders met on Wednesday.

“Confidence has risen and we are making an optimistic start,” the parties said in a joint statement after the party and parliamentary caucus leaders of Merkel’s Christian Democrats and her Bavarian conservative allies met with their opposite numbers from the SPD

Exploratory talks, a preliminary to full-blown coalition negotiations, are due to start on Jan. 7 and continue for four days.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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