Germany's Merkel faces pressure for quick coalition talks

Momentum grows for another grand coalition in Germany

She appeared to walk back that statement on Saturday, however, telling her fellow CDU members that "if we can't do anything with the (election) result, we cannot ask the people to vote again".

Merkel has been scrambling to avert snap elections after arduous talks to form a new government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the left-leaning Greens broke down a week ago.

Merkel's conservatives have pushed to curb migrant flows and are keen to ensure that Germany sticks to a balanced budget.

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 head of the group told the paper the conservatives should pursue a minority government if they fail to agree a deal with the SPD.

On Sunday, the youth wing of Merkel's Union bloc published a resolution stating that the conservatives must not enter a coalition "at any price".

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.

"The SPD will not refuse to talk".

Mrs Merkel's change of mind comes as a recent poll revealed almost two-thirds of Germans would back another general election. However, Schulz softened the stance on Friday as he said his party was willing to hold talks with the Union.

Leading Greens lawmaker Claudia Roth told Deutschlandfunk radio that she doubted whether another GroKo was the best outcome, given its "anaesthetising" effect on the country last time.

The CDU leader also said talks with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) would have to be conducted on the basis of mutual respect, and the compromise is part of it.

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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