Angela Merkel: 'I absolutely do not favor' a new election

German Chancellor Angela Merkel left speaks with British Prime Minister Theresa May center and French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels. Germany Europe's larg

"An alliance of the conservatives and SPD is the best option for Germany - better anyway than a coalition with the Free Democrats and Greens, new elections or a minority government", Horst Seehofer, head of Bavaria's CSU, sister party to Merkel's conservatives, told Bild am Sonntag.

Perhaps Merkel's optimism that a coalition could still be salvaged from the September election was due to a change in tune from the SPD. "There will not be a grand coalition at any price", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walked back her earlier comments about fresh elections on Saturday, saying it was "simply wrong" to ask German to vote again.

Negotiations "should be viewed as failed" if there is no deal by Christmas and the conservatives should instead aim for an unprecedented minority government, the resolution said.

He too warned against making too many concessions to the SPD, urging the CDU to stand firm on stricter migration policies and its commitment to a balanced budget. Two of Merkel's three terms to date have been in such a coalition.

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The Social Democrats centred their campaign on building a more socially just Germany, pledging more investment in education and infrastructure.

Although Mr Schulz painted the move to open talks as a response to Mr Steinmeier's appeal, he was facing the possibility of a leadership challenge over his refusal to open talks with Ms Merkel.

Speaking in Kuehlungsborn in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Merkel said Germany's politicians had a responsibility to work with the September results.

His cautious language was echoed on Friday morning by SPD deputy leader Manuela Schwesig, who said that a new coalition government was no certainty.

A "Jamaica" coalition would have "shattered into a thousand pieces within months", he added, given the parties' differing views on everything from migration to climate protection to eurozone reforms.

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