Merkel to start work on trade, Syria, China

06 March, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • Merkel vows ‘good for Germany’ as SPD paves way for her fourth term

SPD leaders, who reversed a decision to go into opposition and are under pressure to rejuvenate their party after suffering their worst result in September's election since Germany became a federal republic in 1949, have vowed to fight the conservatives on major issues.

Ms Merkel congratulated the SPD on a "clear result".

This weekend the Social Democratic Party of Germany voted to renew a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, guiding the way for her 4th term after half a year of political deadlock in the country. Party leaders say they expect a "yes" vote to the coalition deal they hammered out with Merkel and her allies.

Ms Merkel will start what is nearly certainly her final term as chancellor weakened. "Germany will be ready for solidarity in the eurozone as well as in the European Union". It is widely expected that snap elections will not address the political crisis but only make the anti-EU far-right populist party Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) stronger.

Some 464,000 members of the Social Democratic Party were eligible to vote.

Angela Merkel does not want Germany's national anthem to be changed, her spokesman said after a member of the chancellor's Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partner said words such as "fatherland" and "brotherland" should be made gender neutral.

SPD's acting party Chairman Olaf Scholz said the coalition "gives us the strength for the process of renewal we are embarking upon".

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But her troubles are far from over.

"What we're seeing and hearing every day is that Europe needs to step up and Germany needs to have a strong voice there along with France and other member states (of the European Union)", said Merkel during a brief statement to reporters.

"France and Germany will work together starting in the coming weeks to develop new initiatives for advancing the European project", Macron's office said. Meanwhile, Merkel's Bavarian partner CSU will formally agree the coalition Monday and name the three ministers it will send to Berlin including the transport minister. Key positions once held by Merkel's own conservatives will be handed over to SPD leaders, and policies will begin shifting to the center-left to match. Her party received the most votes but it took five months to form a coalition government.

Merkel, who has proved herself a shrewd worldwide negotiator during more than 12 years in office, faced her greatest challenge at home after deciding to allow over a million asylum-seekers into Germany since 2015.

Merkel also appreciates the importance of a future government for Europe.

Fiercely opposed to her open-door refugee policy, Spahn has advocated a sharp conservative shift to coax back voters from the AfD.

Merkel is due to be re-elected by parliament as chancellor on March 14, said Volker Kauder, parliamentary chief of her CDU party.


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