Talks between Angela Merkel’s CDU and the centre-left SPD will resume on forming a German grand coalition but any agreement is probably weeks away yet.
With the Greens having bowed out at least we now know it will be a joint administration of the big two parties or fresh elections. The former remains odds on.
The SPD is scarred by its experience of coalition in the last decade, when its support slumped, but it’s probably the lesser of two evils for the party since a new vote would be quite likely to increase Merkel’s support. She only just missed out on a rare overall majority first time around.
SPD leaders will be pushing for concrete concessions from Merkel on a minimum wage, something Germany does not have. Without that, it may be difficult for them to sell the idea of entering full-blown negotiations to a meeting of 200 senior SPD members scheduled for Sunday.
After the afternoon talks wind up, Merkel will meet European Council President Herman Van Rompuy for talks ahead of an EU summit later in the month.