German Chancellor Angela Merkel set to serve 4th term

06 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • German Social Democratic Party SPD treasurer Dietmar Nietan left and temporary party leader Olaf Scholz right

It is not the result she would have wanted when she began her election campaign a year ago - she had to surrender control of key government departments including the powerful finance ministry to get a deal.

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.

The Social Democratic party (SPD) agreed at the weekend to form another "grand coalition" government with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), nearly six months after the general elections in September. Party leaders say they expect a "yes" vote to the coalition deal they hammered out with Merkel and her allies. Following the SPD's emphatic decision for a new partnership, Merkel is expected to launch her fourth government by mid-March.

By taking the lead on tax harmonization, France and Germany are hoping to encourage other member states to support the proposed European Union common consolidated corporate tax base, a measure to which many EU countries are known to be hostile - most notably Ireland. Now the parliament consists of lawmakers from seven political parties.

In the elections on September 24., Merkel's party had 33 percent of the votes followed by SPD with 20.5 percent, the nationalist Alternative for Germany with 12.6 percent, the liberal Free Democrats with 10.7 percent, the left with 9.2 percent and the Greens with 8.9 percent.

The dissenters have campaigned against renewing that coalition, saying the Social Democrats lost public support while in partnership with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union.

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"The SPD will be in the next government", said SPD's caretaker chairman Olaf Scholz, adding his party plans to send three male and three female ministers to the cabinet. "France and Germany will work together on new initiatives in the coming weeks to bring the European project forward".

Wary of ceding further ground to the far-right Islamophobic outfit as voters turn away from traditional parties, Merkel's conservatives and the SPD have inserted a clause to review their cooperation in two years. Senior conservative Jens Spahn, seen as one possible successor to Merkel, warned the SPD on Monday against obstructing government policy in a re-run of the coalition that has ruled since 2013. The voting took place four months after Merkel failed to make a coalition in her first try.

Angela Merkel, also referred to as "Muttie" (mother) Merkel is still a popular choice in her country.

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

Horst Seehofer, the head of her Bavarian sister party and sternest critic of her "open-door" refugee policy will be in charge of the migrant issue as interior minister.


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