Pressure grows on German Social Democrats in gov't impasse

Bavarian governor and chairman of the Christian Social party, CSU, Horst Seehofer, second right, leaves the presidential residence Bellevue palace after a meeting with German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Berlin, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. (Wolfgang Kumm/dpa via AP)

BERLIN - Pressure is growing within Germany's Social Democratic Party to at least discuss the possibility of forming a new government with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

SPD leader Martin Schulz has ruled out returning to the current "grand coalition" with Merkel, following a disastrous result in September's election, even after her talks on forming a government with two other parties collapsed.

If no one budges, the options are a minority government — never previously tried — or new elections.

Schulz is meeting Thursday with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has urged politicians to compromise.

Several Social Democrats, while expressing skepticism, have suggested the party should discuss another coalition with Merkel or supporting a minority government.

Lawmaker Karl Lauterbach tells ZDF broadcaster "if absolutely nothing else works, we must again consider a grand coalition."

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