Merkel vows swift return to govt work to boost Europe

Merkel vows swift return to govt work to boost Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her ballot at a polling station in Berlin, Germany, during the federal elections, on September 24, 2017.

With the SPD's emphatic decision to move forward with a new partnership, Merkel is expected to launch her fourth government by mid-March.

Sunday's SPD vote result brought relief to German businesses and European capitals, which believe the euro zone would benefit from Merkel being able to partner with France on President Emmanuel Macron's ambitious plans to reform the single currency bloc. 78% social gathering members voted with 66 percent supporting the brand new authorities. Opponents of her liberal refugee policy have grown more outspoken, while the conservative wing of her party is seething at having lost control of the powerful finance ministry to the Social Democrats as part of the coalition deal. Voting continued through the night at the party's headquarters in Berlin.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert says such measures "would sorely affect worldwide trade flows", European industries and in particular "workers and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic".

The Union then turned to its formation partner SPD, which changed its stance of entering into the opposition after the election under various political pressures.

Senior conservative Jens Spahn, seen as one possible successor to Merkel, warned the SPD not to obstruct government policy in a re-run of the coalition that has ruled since 2013.

Ralph Brinkhaus, deputy leader of the conservatives in parliament, said conservatives would insist on averting new government debt, and planned to examine any European spending plans very carefully.

European Union could reject Theresa May's soft border proposals, Tanaiste says
She mentioned two sectors in particular - broadcasting and financial services - that have never been properly covered in a free trade agreement before.

In reaching a deal, the new finance minister will be a Social Democrat.

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.

The fragmented vote turnovers made the Union to turn to the Free Democrats and the Greens to form a majority in the Bundestag, but it failed in November after four weeks of discussion.

Its leaders have vowed to "hunt" Merkel, though so far AfD's novice lawmakers have stood out mainly by failing to grasp parliamentary procedures and putting forward motions all other parties reject.

"In 2021 at the latest, they'll pay the price", the party tweeted.

Conservatives in Merkel's bloc have demanded the country of about 80 million take in no more than about 200,000 migrants a year.

"I'm pleased about the result of the SPD members' vote", he said in a statement. "We're not sore losers". "But this is a democratic decision, and we accept it".

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