Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic bloc began exploratory talks with Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Greens to discuss forming a three-way coalition government.
Following their first meeting with FDP leaders, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)’s Secretary General Peter Tauber spoke optimistically about forming a so-called Jamaica coalition.
“We had a very constructive, very good exchange,” Tauber told reporters at parliament, adding that both sides outlined their priorities during the preliminary talks.
'After today’s first meeting, we have a good feeling,” he added.
FDP Secretary General Nicola Beer also spoke positively about their first meeting with the CDU and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).
“We had a fact-based, solution-oriented talks in a positive atmosphere,” she said.
Merkel, CSU leader Horst Seehofer and top negotiators later met with the Greens.
Preliminary talks will continue on Thursday, with a separate meeting between the Greens and the FDP.
Top officials from the four parties were scheduled to hold a joint meeting on Friday to find common ground.
Merkel’s CDU and its CSU allies were the largest bloc after federal elections on Sept. 24, but failed to secure an absolute majority in the Bundestag.
They are facing tough talks as potential coalition partners differ on major issues such as European policy, migration, energy and taxes.
A potential coalition between the CDU/CSU, the liberal FDP and the Greens, is often referred to as the “Jamaica coalition”, as the traditional colors of these parties -- black, yellow and green -- correspond to Jamaica’s flag.
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been ruled out of coalition talks by Merkel.
By Ayhan Simsek in Berlin