Germany’s Merkel welcomes government deal with SPD

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Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has dinner near the Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium, January 12, 2017. REUTERS/David Stockman/pool - RTX2YPD1

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she wants her new coalition government to get to work quickly following a deal her conservatives struck with the Social Democrats five months after the elections.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement a the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, on March 5, 2018.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a statement a the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, on March 5, 2018. (Reuters)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday welcomed the coalition deal with centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) saying, “It’s important that we start quickly with our work.”

Merkel was speaking a day after SPD voted overwhelmingly to remain in a coalition with Merkel’s conservative bloc, giving her the support needed to preserve her governing coalition and secure a fourth term as leader of Europe’s most powerful economy.

Parliament is expected to meet March 14 to re-elect Merkel as chancellor, ending the longest time Germany has been without a new government after elections in its post-war history.

The Social Democrats were initially reluctant to extend their coalition with Merkel, but eventually agreed to a deal that gives them control of the foreign, labour and finance ministries – three major portfolios – in return for supporting curbs on immigration.

TRT World‘s Ira Spitzer has more developments from Berlin.

Merkel’s party quoted her on Twitter on Sunday, saying “I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to continuing to work together for the good of our country.”

The general-secretary of Merkel’s party and her possible future successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said in statement on Sunday that “the new government has a lot of work ahead of it that needs to be started soon.”

Good news for Germany

Leader of key political and economic partner of Germany, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has also praised the decision saying in a statement that “this is good news for Europe.”

“France and Germany will work together in the coming weeks to develop new initiatives and advance the European project,” he added.

The SPD initially planned to go into opposition after a disastrous result in September’s election, but agreed to negotiate with Merkel’s conservatives after talks with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the environmentalist Greens on a three-way tie-up collapsed in November.

They thrashed out a coalition agreement which SPD leaders hailed for its commitments to strengthening the EU and giving them some key government roles

Merkel could be sworn in as chancellor by mid-March.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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