(FILES) This file photo taken on November 21, 2017 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel looking on during a session at the Bundestag lower house of Parliament in Berlin. AFP / Odd ANDERSEN
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Germany's divided Social Democrats hold a crunch vote Sunday on whether to pursue a coalition deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, or plunge Europe's top economy into political turmoil.Schulz is due to address the party conference at 1030 GMT.Germany has been stuck in political limbo since September's inconclusive general election saw mainstream parties bleed support to the far-right AfD, which tapped into anger over Merkel's open-door refugee policy.Bruised by his party's worst result in decades, Schulz initially vowed to go into opposition but then caved to pressure to reconsider after Merkel's attempt at a novel tie-up with two smaller parties collapsed in November.Schulz has pledged that any final coalition agreement will be put to a vote by more than 400,000 rank-and-file party members -- leaving Merkel's fate once again in the hands of the SPD.
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