A regional poll in the tiny German state of Saarland is seen as a key test for September’s national election. Saarland is governed by a coalition of Angela Merkel's CDU and the center-left SPD, which has resurged under its new leader, Martin Schulz.
The chancellor has said that her CDU party, the Greens and the business-friendly FDP will have an initial agreement ready this week. It is nearly two months since Germany held its general election.
Leader Martin Schulz accepted the blame for the SPD's bitter defeat in the German election. His deputy has accused him of failing to recognize the seriousness of the party's crisis as political intrigue mounts.
Four German political parties — the Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union, Free Democrats and Greens — are now in their third week of talks to form a government. They disagree about more things than they agree on.
The Merkel-led conservative block, the Greens and the market-friendly FDP have until Sunday evening to reach common ground on a possible coalition. The talks have stalled as parties clash on migration and environment.
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