Germany’s Social Democrats approve exploratory talks on Merkel coalition govt

Germany’s Social Democrats, the second-strongest party, agreed Thursday to kick off exploratory talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. The decision could lead to a new coalition government early next year. The center-left SPD motion said the “open-ended” talks set to start next week could result in either a new right-left “grand coalition” or the tolerance of a Merkel minority government. However, if negotiations fail, new elections are possible, the SPD said, according to AFP.