Gerhard Schroeder and Angela Merkel were preparing for their first face-to-face talks Thursday on their rival claims to lead Germany after its inconclusive election.
But the margin of victory was so narrow that Schroeder has refused to acknowledge defeat, insisting he should remain as chancellor to manage reforms that have so far failed to fire up Europe's largest economy.
With both major parties unable so far to muster enough support from smaller groups to form a majority, leaders have insisted ahead of Thursday's talks that they will look seriously at joining up in a "grand coalition," reports the AP.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
These days, Russia is welcoming over 2 million fans from all over the world. Many of them came to Russia expecting something dangerous and even life-threatening