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Germany’s Social Democrats Willing to Help Break Political Deadlock

FILE - Chairman of Germany's Social Democratic Party Martin Schulz, right, and the SPD faction leader in the Bundestag, Andrea Nahles, speak to reporters in Berlin.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) said Friday they are ready to hold talks with other parties on resolving the political crisis by forming a new government without calling new elections.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose conservative bloc won a September 24 vote, has since failed to form a coalition government to lead EU's largest economy for a fourth term.

The SPD have governed in coalition under Merkel since 2013, but party leader Martin Schulz vowed to go into opposition immediately after the election in which they scored a dismal result.

However, SPD’s general secretary Hubertus Heil said after an eight-hour, late-night meeting chaired by Schulz that “The SPD is of the firm conviction that there must be talks," adding “The SPD will not be closed to those talks." However, Heil did not say with which parties the Social Democrats would negotiate.

SPD's caretaker justice minister, Heiko Maas, seconded Heil's comments, saying "The SPD cannot behave like a child sulking in the corner.”

Germany, the most stable European Union country, plunged into a political crisis Monday, after the leader of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) walked out of talks, saying there was no "basis of trust" to forge a government with the conservative alliance and ecologist Greens.