Merkel finally gets a coalition

Reuters

Reuters

The SPD vote result brought relief to German businesses and European capitals, which say the euro zone would benefit from Merkel being able to partner with French President Emmanuel Macron on ambitious plans to reform the single currency bloc.

Angela Merkel has welcomed the decision by members of Germany's Social Democratic Party to support a coalition government with the long-time chancellor. 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.

After talks between the FDP (liberal Free Democratic Party) and the CDU, the Green Party disbanded in November, which meant renewing the Grand Coalition (GroKo) was the only solution left for a multiparty.

Instead, the coalition plans to set up a special commission for the phase-out of coal with a climate-change action plan to be agreed by end-2018 which will set binding targets for 2030 for all sectors including transport, heating and agriculture to cut carbon emissions.

The newspaper Die Welt reported on Saturday that SPD member and Bundestag Vice President Thomas Opperman said the SPD should be more self-confident, cheeky and ready for conflict in the next 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.

Marcelo fit for PSG but Zidane unsure on Kroos and Modric
Ronaldo now has 14 goals in his last eight appearances, form which Zidane said the team had to use to their advantage. The cross came in from Marcelo , and Ronaldo rose highest at the near post to nod home.

With Merkel's bloc and the second-place Social Democrats in government, the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, now represents the biggest opposition party in Parliament, giving it a prominent platform to attack the chancellor.

Both Merkel's conservatives and the SPD are under pressure to appear distinctive to voters in a coalition borne out of necessity rather than choice, making it hard for Merkel to balance conflicting demands. In her most recent government statement on European policy last week, she said, "We need a new start for Europe". But he added: "It's clear we don't want things to get worse, and we certainly don't want anything like a trade war".

Brinkhaus's comments underscored tensions between the centre-left SPD and the conservative blocs, which are both under pressure to differentiate themselves more in the next "grand coalition" after big losses in the September national election.

Spahn, 37, wants to make the AfD "superfluous" by winning back voters on the right. An anti-migrant party came in third in last year's election, upending Germany's traditional coalition calculus.

Merkel has already sought to head off challengers by appointing close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to take over as CDU secretary general, heeding calls from within the party to inject new blood and groom a successor.

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