Pro-business party approves coalition talks in Germany

Pro-business party approves coalition talks in Germany
Christian Lindner, parliamentary party leader and party chairman of the FDP, makes a statement (Paul Zinken/AP)

Germany’s pro-business Free Democrats became the last of three parties to back the start of formal coalition talks on forming a new government.

The Free Democrats leader, Christian Lindner, said the party’s national executive unanimously agreed to take the step following weeks of informal talks with the centre-left Social Democrats and the environmentalist Greens.

Mr Lindner said on Monday the three parties had not sought each other out ahead of the September 26 election, “to put it diplomatically”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will step down when a deal is forged (Michael Sohn/AP)

“It’s also no surprise that there are big differences on matters of substance,” he said, adding that those involved would need show “a lot of tolerance and willingness to think anew.

“Therein lies a chance, though, to do good things for our country.”

In the election, the Social Democrats came first, ahead of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Union bloc, and the Greens and Free Democrats came third and fourth.

Mrs Merkel will stay on as a caretaker leader until Germany’s new coalition government is in place.

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