Merkel hints at new coalition partners

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who aims to win a third term in 2013, has said she would talk to the opposition Greens and Social Democrats (SPD) on forming a coalition if she cannot rule with her present partners the Free Democrats (FDP).

Opinion polls signal exactly such a scenario, with a survey by Emnid yesterday showing Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) winning 38 per cent of the vote and the FDP Liberals winning just four per cent and thereby falling short of the five per cent threshold required to win parliamentary seats.

The poll put the SPD on 28 per cent and the Greens at 14 per cent, leaving them similarly unable to reach a majority.

Mrs Merkel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview she would speak to the SPD and Greens about forming a coalition as a “matter of course” if the FDP fell short.