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In Germany, support ebbs for Merkel serving out term as coalition talks loom

Domestic support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be waning as a poll found almost half of the voters would want her to quit her term early should she become the chancellor again, according to Reuters.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by Deutsche Presse-Agentur and published in Die Welt newspaper, showed that 47% of the respondents wanted Merkel to step down before her term ends in 2021, up from 36% in October.

About 36% wanted her to serve for four full years, down from 44% three months earlier.

Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats, or SPD, on Dec. 7 agreed to start talks on re-establishing a coalition government or backing a minority government. This effort came after the Free Democratic Party withdrew from talks with Merkel last month on forming a new three-way coalition government.

Merkel's conservatives and the SPD said the exploratory coalition talks will start Jan. 7, according to Reuters.