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Merkel begins talks with Social Democrats

German chancellor says stable government needed to tackle "enormous" tasks ahead; SPD takes conciliatory stance in public after initially ruling out rerun of grand coalition

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"Our intention is to work very swiftly, very intensely," Mrs Merkel told reporters on Sunday. "I'm going into these talks with optimism, though it's clear to me that a huge amount of work lies ahead."

Berlin

CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel said Germany needs a stable government to tackle "enormous" tasks ahead as she began make-or-break talks to renew her alliance with the Social Democrats and open the door to a fourth term.

More than three months of post-election stalemate in Europe's...

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