BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Social Democrats have approved formal coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in order to form a new government.
The negotiations between the country's two biggest parties will begin on Wednesday. Merkel's conservatives won a Sept. 22 parliamentary election, but their last coalition partner, the Free Democrats, lost all seats. Short of an absolute majority, Merkel's party reached out to its traditional center-left rivals for a new partner.
The German news agency dpa said the Social Democrats approved coalition talks at a party convention in Berlin on Sunday, but said its conditions include a demand for the country's first mandatory minimum wage — something many conservatives oppose.
Merkel led a coalition with the Social Democrats in her first term, from 2005 to 2009.