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Schroeder: Germany Heading Towards 'Grand' Coalition


German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says his Social Democratic Party will probably form a so-called "Grand Coalition" with the main opposition Christian Democratic Union, after this month's general election failed to produce a clear winner.

Mr. Schroeder spoke Tuesday at a forum on Europrean integration in Strasbourg, France. He said he expects a stable government to emerge from exploratory talks between the two parties, but did not say what role, if any, he would hold in such a coalition.

The Social Democrats and their Greens Party coalition partner lost their majority in the September 18 vote. The Christian Democrats, led by Angela Merkel, and their likely coalition partner, the liberal Free Democrats, also fell short of a majority.

Separately, the Greens elected Agriculture Minister Renate Kuenast and former party co-leader Fritz Kuhn to lead their parliamentary faction.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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