Germany’s biggest opposition party is ready to begin talks with Angela Merkel on a minority government, offering her a way to restore political leadership in Europe’s biggest economy. It’s the first sign the Social Democratic Party is ready to help the chancellor stay in office after her talks on forming a coalition with three other parties fell apart. SPD head Martin Schulz, who faces party pressure to go further and disavow his refusal to join a Merkel government, is meeting Germany’s president on Thursday for consultations on the way forward. SPD leaders plan to meet at 5 p.m. in Berlin to discuss their options, a party official said.Two months after an inconclusive election that brought a far-right party into parliament, the impasse has left Merkel stranded even though she won a mandate for a fourth term. With Germany’s political map in flux, Merkel’s aversion to governing without a parliamentary majority and the SPD’s refusal to enter a coalition with her for a third time may both be up for negotiation.
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