Germany's SPD - Coalition with Merkel not automatic, all options open

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The leader of Germany's Social Democratic party on Friday denied reports he had green-lighted talks about another "grand coalition" with Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has invited Merkel, SPD leader Martin Schulz and CSU leader Horst Seehofer for a meeting next week to discuss another "Grand Coalition".

The chairman said the SPD's executive committee would discuss various options on Monday, and make a proposal which would be discussed at SPD's party conference from December 7 to 9 in Berlin.

Schultz had initially refused to consider another "grand coalition" with Merkel after a disastrous showing of the Social Democrats in the election on September 24, saying the Social Democrats needed to go into opposition.

However, Schulz did not slam the door for a renewed SPD-Union partnership, saying the SPD leadership was keeping its options open.

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"We have many options for forming a government. The way that erroneous reports are circulated destroys trust".

The SPD's top brass will then present their recommendation to party rank and file during their congress from Thursday.

"The people have voted, and I absolutely do not favour, if we can't do anything with the result, asking people to vote again", Merkel said on Saturday at a party conference of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Kuehlungsborn, northeast Germany, Xinhua reported citing Focus Online.

Meantime, she continues to head a caretaker government made up of her conservatives and the Social Democrats.

Merkel's camp said the ball was in the SPD's court.

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Another senior member of Merkel's Christian Democrat Union (CDU), Mike Mohring, said he was hopeful for an eventual grand coalition and expected a new government to be formed by March.

Firmly denying that an agreement had been reached on opening negotiations on a grand right-left coalition, Schulz said that all options remained on the table.

Officials from Erdogan's office said during Thursday's talk Merkel promised she would work toward expediting European Union funds earmarked to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".

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