Social Democrats back new Merkel-led German government

Social Democrats back new Merkel-led German government

But it is surely the beginning of the end.

Germany's Social Democratic Party has voted in favour of joining the coalition with Mrs Merkel's party, giving her a fourth term. Responding to conservative critics who blame the chancellor for the party's electoral decline, Merkel also nominated a crop of younger leaders for cabinet positions.

Noting that it would be the biggest opposition party now that the SPD has joined the government, the AfD's parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel promised that "the bill will come at the latest in 2021".

Sunday's announcement by the party's leadership ends nearly six months of uncertainty in German politics, the longest the country has been without a government in its post-war history. Both sides had been weakened as voters angry about the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers in Germany since 2015 turned to the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Two in three of the SPD's rank and file voting in a crunch referendum backed a new partnership with Merkel's conservatives, heralding an end to the political stalemate that has plagued Europe's biggest economy since September's inconclusive elections.

"I congratulate the SPD on this clear result and look forward to further cooperation for the good of our country", Merkel said in a statement on Twitter.

While the impasse in Berlin hasn't dented Germany's economic boom, it's held back policy making since Ms Merkel won a national election in September with her bloc's worst result since 1949.

Differences in migration policy contributed to the collapse of weeks-long coalition talks previous year among Merkel's CDU, its Bavarian sister party, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Green party, following federal elections at the end of September.

However, he added: 'The new government could be more important for Europe than for the domestic economy as without this agreement it would have been hard, if not impossible, to get any meaningful reform done in the coming months.

The SPD ballot pitted the leadership of the center-left party against the radical youth wing, which wanted the SPD to rebuild in opposition after a disastrous election showing. As part of the price for its support, the SPD will take the helm at key ministries, including the finance ministry.

He said: 'The SPD's identity crisis has not been solved by this result and it will try to use this term to distinguish itself more clearly from Ms Merkel's CDU, possibly leading to increased confrontation within the coalition. Turn-out in the poll was more than 78 per cent.

The Social Democrats have more than 463,000 members.

German business greeted with relief the news that Germany would get a government after its longest-ever post-election interregnum. The deal will form her third grand coalition during her time as chancellor, according to DW.

"While the United States are starting a trade war and China is challenging our industrial leadership, we have been unnecessarily self-absorbed", engineering trade union VDMA's managing director Thilo Brodtmann said.

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.

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