Angela Merkel says she is willing to talk to the Social Democrats in order to get a solid government in place in Germany. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday (November 25) that she aimed to get a government in place as quickly as possible, after she was left scrambling to find a way to govern when three-way coalition talks collapsed. "Europe needs a strong Germany, it is desirable to get a government in place quickly," Merkel told a party meeting, adding, however, that her acting government was able to carry on day-to-day business in Europe's biggest economy. She said she was prepared to talk to the Social Democrats (SPD) after the centre-left party reversed an earlier decision and said it was prepared to talk to Merkel's conservatives, but she stressed that any talks should be based on mutual respect. The centre-left SPD had vowed to go into opposition after suffering its worst result in 70 years in September's election, but has come under intense pressure, including by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to rethink its position and help avert a disruptive repeat poll. SPD leader Martin Schulz is due to meet with Merkel and Steinmeier for talks on Thursday (November 30).