German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves after giving a press conference at the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin on September 25, 2017, one day after general elections. AFP / Odd ANDERSEN
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Germany's Angela Merkel began the tough task of trying to build a government Monday after securing a fourth term as chancellor, urging the center-left Social Democrats not to the shut the door on a rerun of their "grand coalition". Damaged by her decision two years ago to allow more than 1 million migrants into Germany, Merkel's conservative bloc secured 33 percent of the vote, losing 8.5 points – its lowest level since 1949 . Merkel's party remained the biggest parliamentary bloc and Europe's most powerful leader sought to keep her coalition options open Monday, saying she would start talks with the Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens as well as the SPD.The FDP's leader Christian Lindner set the stage for tricky talks, saying his party would not agree to a coalition with the conservatives and the Greens, dubbed "Jamaica" because the parties' colors mirror the country's flag, at any price.
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