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    This file photo taken on May 29, 2016 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz during a remembrance ceremony to mark the centenary of the battle of Verdun, at the Douaumont Ossuary (Ossuaire de Douaumont), northeastern France.

    'First Big Step'? CDU/CSU, SPD Projections On The Upcoming Coalition Talks

    © AFP 2018 / Frederick Florin
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    While Germany is looking forward to the start of the long-awaited talks on the formation of a grand coalition between the country's two major parties - Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative CDU/CSU - the two blocs have to do a great deal of work to reach a compromise and be able to form a new government.

    Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU believe an agreement could be reached with the Social-Democrats to form a new "grand coalition" like the one that has governed the country for the past four years, media reported, referring to the party's meeting on Monday.

    Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, CDU member and minister president of the Saarland, told ARD broadcaster that she hoped the upcoming talks would bring about positive results.

    "Maybe we can take the first big step in this direction this week," the politician said.

    READ MORE: Crunch Time for Merkel? Grand Coalition Talks Slated for Next Week

    For his part, SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil told the media source that his party is ready to consider various options.

    "The ball is now in Ms. Merkel's court," Klingbeil said, adding that the outcome of the talks will largely depend on the position of the CDU/CSU alliance and its demands.

    At the same time, Julia Kloeckner, deputy leader of the CDU, called on the SPD to refrain from making unreasonable demands and slammed Klingbeil's previous comment where he stated that the negotiations could last for several months.

    "The SPD may think we have forever, but that is not our view," she said.

    On Thursday, SPD members voted overwhelmingly to allow their party's leadership to enter talks with the CDU/CSU alliance to establish a coalition government, in a move that was earlier endorsed by Martin Schulz.

    READ MORE: Germany's SPD Votes to Officially Enter Coalition Talks With Merkel's Party

    The two parties have to come to terms over a number of important issues including EU integration and social benefits.

    Earlier, four weeks of talks to form a new German government collapsed after the Free Democratic Party (FDP) withdrew from the negotiations on the formation of the so called "Jamaica coalition" with the CDU/CSU and the Greens.

    Germany is now in the crosshairs between snap elections to the Bundestag and further attempts to form a coalition. Possible options include the renewal of the grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats or the creation of a minority government.

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    Tags:
    coalition, talks, Angela Merkel, Martin Schulz, Germany
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