German Social Democrats Confirm Coalition Talks
The German Social Democratic Party, SPD, has confirmed it will hold talks with Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats for the formation of a coalition government.
"We may have some irreconcilable differences, which could hamper the formation of a coalition. However, we have made a commitment with these negotiations, and we intend to bring them to a successful end", commented SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel.
Around 85% of the 229 SPD delegates have expressed their support for the negotiations, intended to begin on Wednesday, reports Bloomberg.
In September's federal elections, Merkel's CDU took about 42% of the vote, falling short of absolute majority. The Social Democrats came second with 26%.
Traditionally, the two parties differ substantially on some key issues, such as labour policies.
Angela Merkel has vowed to keep taxes the same, one of SPD's primary demands. Another topic on which compromises will be key, is the minimum wage.
The coalition formation talks will have several rounds and may last as long as 1 month, analysts predict.
Meanwhile, Wednesday is also the day the Bundestag will reconvene for the first time since the elections.