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German parties look to Social Democrats to lead next govt

KIFI

By GEIR MOULSON
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — The two parties that emerged as likely kingmakers from Germany’s election last month say they will hold talks on a possible new government under the leadership of outgoing center-left Social Democrats. If ultimately successful, the negotiations would send outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc into opposition after 16 years at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy. But such exploratory talks are only the first of several steps toward a new coalition government. The environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats said Wednesday they had decided to hold three-way talks with the Social Democrats. Merkel will stay in place as a caretaker leader until a new government is formed.

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