January 11, 2018 / 9:09 AM / a year ago

Merkel sees a hard day in crunch German coalition talks

Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government at the SPD headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday her conservative bloc and the Social Democrats (SPD) still had high hurdles to clear before they could agree to enter formal coalition talks.

Speaking at the start of the final day of exploratory talks on Thursday, Merkel said it would be a tough day but she was going into it “with energy” and she recognised that Germans expected results.

More than three months after a federal election, a weakened Merkel is pinning her hopes for a fourth term as chancellor on successful talks with a wary SPD for a re-run of the ‘grand coalition’ that ruled Europe’s biggest economy from 2013 to 2017.

Reporting by Michelle Martin and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Paul Carrel

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