Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz attend a news conference after exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government at the SPD headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 12, 2018.
Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

More of the same is not what Germans voted for in last September’s parliamentary elections, but it is what they will get now that the Social Democrats (SPD) have grudgingly agreed to proceed with formal negotiations for a grand coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). After contentious internal battles, SPD delegates narrowly voted, at a party convention on Sunday, to give their leadership the license to serve for a third time as a junior partner to Merkel’s conservative party. Their decision is based on a 28-page joint-position paper that the two parties had hashed

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