German Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a 4th term of office in next year's national election. Economists forecast a downturn in the economy for 2017, presenting a challenge to the candidates.
Germany's conservative and Social Democratic leaders are meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a new "grand coalition" government. After initial cold feet from the SPD, what are the chances of success?
Party leader Martin Schulz opened the event with an apology for the party's worst-ever election results. The SPD plans to hold a vote on entering preliminary talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU later in the day.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has become an icon. Abroad, she's held in high esteem due to the length of her tenure and her conduct during Europe's refugee crisis. But back home, support for Merkel is waning.
Nearly three months after the elections, Merkel is struggling to form a government. Seen by many as an anchor of stability in Europe, Merkel needs to deliver, but her preferred partners at the SPD are biding their time.
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