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Germany’s SPD backs formal coalition talks with Merkel

Bonn (AFP) – Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats voted Sunday to begin formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, bringing Europe’s top economy a step closer to a new government after months of deadlock.

A total of 362 party delegates out of 642 voted at a special congress in Bonn to back a preliminary coalition deal painstakingly hammered out between the SPD and Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc.

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