January 21, 2018 / 5:25 PM / 7 months ago

Merkel says intensive talks with SPD lie ahead on coalition deal

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed a decision by Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) on Sunday to enter formal talks on forming a coalition with her conservatives, saying intensive talks on many details lay ahead.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a statement at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 21, 2017, after Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) voted to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Merkel's conservatives. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

“The blueprint from the exploratory talks is the framework in which we will negotiate and there are still many questions to clear up in detail and that will require intensive talks,” she said.

Merkel, who wants to get the SPD to agree on a re-run of the ‘grand coalition’ which has ruled Europe’s biggest economy since 2013, said her priorities included ensuring Germany’s economic strength, social justice and security.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Paul Carrel

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