03:21 GMT +313 November 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during her speech at the meeting of the Middle-size economy and economic union of the CDU/CSU in Nuremberg, southern Germany, on September 1, 2017

    Merkel's About-Face on Snap Elections Welcoming New Talks to Form Coalition

    © AFP 2019 / Christof STACHE
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    Less than a week after suggesting that a snap election would be the best option for Germany, the Chancellor has changed her mind, saying she was ready to consider possible negotiations with the SPD.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel changed her stance on snap election, giving up the idea of a new vote and claiming on Saturday that "asking voters to go to the polls again" would be "totally wrong."

    The German leader also added that "Europe needs a strong Germany" and "it is desirable to get a government in place quickly."

    Merkel's statement came only a few days after the politician expressed a completely opposite opinion on the issue. On Monday, she said that new elections would be the best option for Germany and confirmed her intention to lead her party into a snap vote.

    In her most recent statement, the German leader expressed her readiness to "consider a possibility of talks with the Social Democrats", if the discussion would be based on mutual respect.

    For his part, SPD leader Martin Schulz, who has been opposing the idea of forming a grand coalition with Merkel's CDU party since election night, pledged to organize a vote on possible negotiations within his party, a move that, many hope, could help avoid political turmoil in the country.

    READ MORE: German FDP Leader Rules Out Entering Jamaica Coalition in Case of New Election

    For his part, co-chairman of the Greens Cem Ozdemir said that his party is also ready to continue talks to form a coalition.

    "We are ready to negotiate with all democratic parties and to make compromises that will contribute to the progress of Germany and Europe," he stressed.

    Merkel's fourth term was cast into doubt when four weeks of talks to form a new German government collapsed after the Free Democratic Party (FDP) withdrew from the negotiations last Sunday night.

    The four participants in the so called "Jamaica Coalition" talks were Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Greens and the classically liberal FDP. The parties' colors gave rise to the nickname "Jamaica."

    READ MORE: 'Test for Merkel': Snap Election is 'Only Option' as German Coalition Talks Fail

    Disagreements over such issues as migration and climate change, in particular between the FDP and the Greens, reportedly prevented the parties from reaching a deal.

    As for now, Germany is on the crossroads between new elections to the Bundestag and further attempts to form a coalition. Possible options include the renewal of the grand coalition between CDU / CSU and the Social Democrats or the creation of a minority government.


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