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Merkel Signals Readiness For New Election After Coalition Talks Collapse

GERMANY -- German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Angela Merkel, looks on while speaking after exploratory talks on forming a new government broke down in Berlin, November 19, 2017

Speaking on public television, Merkel said she never considered standing down as chancellor following the failure of coalition talks between her conservative political bloc, the environmental Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

She said she preferred to hold early elections rather than form a minority government in the folow-up of the September election when her political bloc suffered its worst result since 1949.

On November 20, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on political leaders to rethink their current stance after the FDP pulled out of the often fraught four weeks of coalition talks. "I expect everyone to be willing to talk in order to make the formation of a government possible," said Steinmeier.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa