Merkel Bid for New Coalition Hangs by Thread in Party Talks

Talks aimed at paving the way for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to unite four parties into her next governing coalition were on a knife’s edge as the clock ticked toward a Sunday deadline to avert a political crisis in Europe’s biggest economy.

Eight hours into the latest round in Berlin, negotiators said an accord remains elusive. Merkel and her Christian Democrat-led bloc were in a tense endgame to win over the Free Democratic Party and Greens for formal coalition talks, or risk triggering new elections and a possible end to Merkel’s fourth term before it begins. “It’s time for an up-or-down decision,” FDP general secretary Nicola Beer told reporters as party chiefs met into the night to try to break the deadlock.

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