>> It could signal the end of a political deadlock that has threatened to paralyze Europe's largest economy. Germany's Social Democrats agreed on Friday to start exploratory talks on forming a government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. For Merkel, it's a life line. Coalition talks with two smaller parties collapsed last month.
Forming a coalition with the SPD is her best chance of securing a fourth term as chancellor. For SPD leader Martin Schulz, it is a volt fast. The Social Democrats have been in a so-called grand coalition with the CDU since 2013, rewarded for that with their worst result in German post-war history at elections in September.
That prompted Schulz to pledge to take his party into opposition. But under pressure to help end the political crisis, he has now agreed with party bosses to enter talks. On Friday, Schulz said that doesn't mean a deal is guaranteed.>>
> There cannot be a continuation of the grand coalition as we know it.
Germany has a society that needs cohesion. We need renewal in many areas. Germany is not a modern country for its citizens in many areas.>> He wants to force Merkel's party to concede to a raft of new worker friendly measures. That could slow down the negotiations, which are due to start in January.
Germany is set to remain in its political quagmire for some time yet, though, it may now be able to see a way out.