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German Social Democrat not ruling out any options for new government

No German 'grand coalition' yet: SPD's Schulz

The SPD, which saw its participation in a Merkel-led coalition government from 2013-17 rewarded with its worst election result in German post-war history, had been strongly opposed to another "grand coalition". Merkel's conservative bloc and the SPD lost support in that vote, while an anti-immigrant party surged into parliament, seriously complicating the coalition arithmetic.

After his party's disastrous result in the September 24 election Schultz had ruled out forming another so-called grand coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, like the one that has governed Germany for the last four years.

Schulz said he had telephoned the CDU leader to say that any such claims from her conservatives to the media would be viewed as "a breach of trust".

Relations between the SPD and conservatives - who are still sharing power in a caretaker capacity - soured this week after a conservative minister backed continued use of a weedkiller at the European Union level against the SPD's wishes.

"We have many options for forming a government". We should talk about each of these options. Her attempts to form a three-way tie-up with the pro-business Free Democratic party (FDP) and the Greens failed.

No German 'grand coalition' yet: SPD's Schulz

The message is "simply wrong", said Martin Schulz at a press conference at the SPD headquarter. "That's exactly what I will propose to the party leadership on Monday", Schulz said.

Officials from Erdogan's office said during Thursday's talk Merkel promised she would work toward expediting European Union funds earmarked to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.

The youth branch of the SPD is organising a petition which rejects a third grand coalition under Merkel and advocates that the centre-left should tolerate a Christian Democrat minority government instead.

After the party convention of the SPD in the coming week, the CDU will discuss the way forward, according to Klaus Schueler, federal manager of the CDU.

"A positive response to Emmanuel Macron will be a key demand in any negotiation with the SPD".