Germany's Merkel welcomes government deal with SPD

by Abel Hampton March 6, 2018, 1:18
Germany's Merkel welcomes government deal with SPD

Now that the Social Democratic Party (SPD) membership has voted to form a coalition with Angela Merkel's conservative bloc, all the obstacles to the German chancellor's fourth term in office have been removed.

It also puts an end to five months of political uncertainty in Europe's largest economy - the longest it has been without a government since World War II. 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 elements of energy and climate policies for the coalition were agreed in the January 12 framework agreement which avoided setting closure dates for coal plants.

In a statement yesterday, Merkel said, "this is a good decision for the SPD and especially for our country". That means Merkel could be sworn in for a fourth term as early as the middle of the month, in a repeat of the grand coalition that has governed since 2013. Much of the talk leading up to the final tally was that the party was evenly split and that the vote could easily go either way, but it appears SPD Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks had the more accurate assessment when she came out on Thursday to say the vote would most like end with 60-percent in favor of joining the coalition agreement. For solidarity in Germany and EU!'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her ballot at a polling station in Berlin, Germany, during the federal elections, on September 24, 2017. The Party has again united together, and he has informed Chancellor Merkel by phone about the result, according to him.

But, the party's youth chief Kevin Kuehnert, who ran an impassioned campaign against the planned coalition known as "GroKo", expressed disappointment at the vote result on Twitter.

Ralf Stegner, current leader of the SPD in Schleswig-Holstein, told local TV Phoenix that the vote is a good government basis, and the 33 plus percent who voted against the Grand Coalition would be a reminder.

"In 2021 at the latest, they'll pay the price", AfD tweeted in a message that contained cartoons of Nahles and Merkel and the caption "four more nightmare years for Germany".

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