German minister confident of coalition deal

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s finance minister says talks to form a new governing coalition could drag on for some time after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party lost its previous partner. But he’s confident the country won’t have to hold new elections.

Merkel’s conservatives won Sunday’s election but fell five seats short of an absolute majority and saw their coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats, voted out of Parliament. That leaves Merkel seeking an alliance with one of two center-left rivals — and neither is rushing to sign up.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the weekly Die Zeit Wednesday that the future governing parties will need to build confidence “and that could take some time.”

However, Schaeuble says “there will not be new elections” since the other parties have a “basic supply of common sense.”

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