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German coalition negotiators press on transaction tax; still apart on other European issues

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Social Democratic Party, SPD, chairman Sigmar Gabriel, left, welcomes Angela Merkel, right, German Chancellor and chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union, CDU, center, at the Social Democrat's headquarters for coalition talks in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Following the Sept. 22 national elections Chancellor Merkel and her Christian parties' bloc are negotiating the second week on forming a coalition with the Social Democratic Party. (AP Photo/dpa, Rainer Jensen)The Associated Press

Negotiators from the parties expected to form Germany's next government are vowing to push forward slow-moving plans to introduce a European tax on financial transactions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives are in talks with the center-left Social Democrats on a new coalition. The conservatives won September elections but their pro-business coalition partners of the past four years were voted out of Parliament.

Germany and 10 other European nations want to introduce the transaction tax but progress has been slow. While in opposition, the Social Democrats accused Merkel of doing too little to advance it.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a Social Democrat, said Wednesday both parties agree they "absolutely" want to press for the tax. Conservative Herbert Reul said they want to bridge differences on Europe's planned banking union by mid-November.