December 18, 2017 / 12:40 PM / in a year

Merkel wants initial coalition deal with SPD by mid-January

BERLIN, Dec 18 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she hoped to conclude exploratory talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) on forming a government by mid-January so that both parties can launch official negotiations on renewing their alliance.

Merkel made the comments after she was asked if comments by French President Emmanuel Macron that he hoped to make progress with Germany on ideas to reform the euro zone by March were realistic.

“We want to build a stable government,” Merkel said. “This means that the success of the exploratory talks means, in the view of the CDU, as well as the CSU, that we need to reach agreement on specific issues during the exploratory talks.”

“From our perspective, anything short of that would mean the exploratory talks were not successful,” Merkel added.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr, editing by Emma Thomasson

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