"Grand coalition" again up for discussion in Germany

Germany's president is inviting Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and the center-left Social Democrats for joint talks on the possibility on the forming a new government.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's office said Friday that Merkel, the head of her party's Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, Horst Seehofer, and Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz have been asked to come together next week to discuss teaming up in another "grand coalition" — the configuration currently governing Germany.

Schulz had ruled out continuing the grand coalition after his party's disastrous showing in September's election, but has been under increasing pressure to reconsider after Merkel's attempt to form a coalition with the left-leaning Greens and pro-business Free Democrats foundered.

Steinmeier has been talking with all leaders to try to find a solution.