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Merkel's party, Greens eye German state alliance that could open new future options nationwide

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the environmentalist Greens will try to form a government together in one of Germany's most prosperous regions — a move that could expand the traditional foes' future options nationwide.

A state election Sept. 22 in Hesse, which includes Frankfurt, produced no center-right or center-left majority. Merkel's Christian Democrats emerged as the strongest party. On Saturday, a Green conference in Hesse voted to accept a conservative offer of coalition talks.

Germany's national election, also Sept. 22, similarly failed to produce a majority for traditional alliances.

The Greens decided against negotiating to enter Merkel's national government and the chancellor's party is now in talks on a national "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats. A successful alliance in Hesse could open more options after future national votes.