It's approaching three weeks since the German election, and the process of settling on a new government continues on its leisurely way. Last week the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats held their first official meeting on the subject (although of course there had been previous informal discussions), but they are still being described as "exploratory talks" and the parties agreed to meet again after ten days.

Meanwhile, the Christian Democrats are keeping their options open by also talking to the Greens. A meeting is to be held today, although the Greens have indicated that the Christian Democrats will have to make significant compromises for an agreement to be possible.