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Merkel's choices for new government narrow

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October 16, 2013 03:57 AM EST | AP


BERLIN — BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's options for forming a new government are narrowing after talks with the Greens ended with both sides unable to agree on how they might form a coalition together.

Merkel's conservative bloc now meets with its other center-left rivals, the Social Democrats, for coalition talks Thursday.

Merkel's bloc won 41.5 percent of the vote in Sept. 22 elections but fell five seats short of a majority. A so-called grand coalition with the Social Democrats, which won 25.7 percent of the vote, now seems her most likely option.

But a deal with the Greens, which won 8.4 percent, would also give Merkel enough seats for a majority government.

That possibility remains open with both sides saying after the talks ended Wednesday that their differences could be resolved.