UPDATE 1-German parties aim to complete exploratory work by Friday

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BERLIN, Oct. 12 (Reuters) – The three parties that have made big gains in Germany’s national elections aim by Friday to have a basis on which to decide whether they wish to move on to coalition talks, the officials said on Tuesday. free democrats.

The Social Democrats (SPD), who won last month’s elections, the Greens and the pro-business FDP have held exploratory talks to find out whether they have enough in common to form a government together.

“We will assess the results of the discussions over the past few days and write what we can do together,” said FDP Secretary General Volker Wissing, adding that the parties are currently discussing areas where they are most distant.

Aware of the failure of the delicate three-party coalition talks after Germany’s national elections four years ago, the three parties are keeping a low profile on the talks, saying they must settle their differences in private.

The process was “very difficult” and there was no guarantee of a real decision on Friday, but the discussions were productive, Wissing added. He declined to speculate on a coalition formation schedule beyond that.

While the Greens and the SPD are seen as ideologically close, the FDP is far from them, especially on economic and fiscal policy.

“After (the) last days of talks, I am sure that we can come to an agreement together if we work on it,” said SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil, adding that he was optimistic for the next two days of the talks. negotiations.

“We have agreed to discuss in these talks the areas where we are most distant,” he added. “We don’t have to exchange jokes.” (Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Alison Williams)

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