Chancellor Angel Merkel could lead a minority government if current coalition talks with the German Socialist party collapse, according to the country's deputy finance minister.
"If the Social Democrats aren't willing to actually compromise with us on the necessary issues like the question of how we remain a strong economic power … Then there can't be a grand coalition," Jens Spahn, the deputy finance minister, told CNBC Wednesday.
"Still, we, as Christian Democrats, want to govern even in a minority government, that will be new for Germany, but it's time for new things anyway," he added. Merkel herself has previously hinted that fresh elections would be preferable over governing alone.
Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister-party the Christian Social Union (CSU) won 33 percent of the vote back in September's elections, their worst result since 1949. Coalition talks between Merkel, the liberal party and the Greens collapsed, throwing the spotlight onto the the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). The SPD has previously governed with Merkel's party in a "grand coalition" but seemingly wanted to stay in opposition and rebuild after a bruising election result.