Merkel finally gets a coalition

Merkel says Germany has “no-go areas;” government won't say where

The election in September was supposed to be a landslide win for Merkel's Christian Democrats, although both the SPD and the CDU lost a record number of votes to the nationalist party, AfD (Alternative for Germany).

Conservatives are still smarting from Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to let an SPD politician serve as finance minister, a job long held by budget hawk Wolfgang Schaeuble, who was known for his focus on budgetary discipline.

The centre-left Social Democrats had furiously debated whether to extend the so-called grand coalition for another four years after suffering a slump in last year's election.

The German authorities will possibly be sworn by March 14. The SPD, by contrast, wants to allay people's insecurities with spending on welfare and education.

While no specific timetable has been drawn up for the plan to link the two countries' corporate tax systems, Merkel said that she hoped that some progress would have been made by the end of 2018.

Sixty-six percent of the 464,000 rank-and-file members of the Social Democrats party on Saturday agreed to form a coalition. The uncertainty was followed by inconclusive elections in September past year. "The SPD is very fragile, and the CDU is also fragile".

It is the worst result ever measured by the Emnid for the over 150-year-old SPD, while the AfD stood at 15 percent.

"We now have clarity: the SPD will join the next German government", he added.

Kevin Kuehnert, head of the SPD's Jusos youth wing who campaigned for a "No" vote, is ready to call out any delay in implementing the hard-won coalition deal, which envisages eurozone reforms in partnership with France.

Merkel also appreciates the importance of a future government for Europe.

Merkel told the press Monday morning that many issues required the government to "start working soon". The idea was to keep one of the most influential leaders, Merkel as the Chancellor in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Germany's deputy energy minister Rainer Baake has resigned from his post, citing his disappointment over the climate policy plans in the new coalition agreement.

Josef Joffe, publisher-editor of weekly Die Zeit, questioned whether Merkel would last out the full parliamentary term to 2021, "or whether she will be forced to hand over leadership to a younger CDU generation in two years".

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