Germany: Social Democrats approve coalition deal

Leaders of the SPD announce the results of the internal referendum on joining a 'grand coalition'

SPD support also secures Angela Merkel's reappointment as chancellor, which is expected to take place in the Bundestag on 14 March.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was voted for her fourth term by the Social Democrats Party (SDP) on Sunday.

Merkel was weakened by her decision in 2015 to welcome hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum, which contributed to the rise of a far-right party that stole conservative voters. The Party has again united together, and he has informed Chancellor Merkel by phone about the result, according to him.

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.

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.

The SPD's approval ended the five-month-long political stalemate and cleared way for Germany's new government after the September 24 Federal Parliament elections, in which both of the two blocs suffered the worst turnovers since 1949. Her party received the most votes but it took five months to form a coalition government.

The inclusion in the coalition deal of a clause that envisages a review of the new government's progress after two years is widely seen as giving the SPD an exit should it want one and has also fuelled a debate about the post-Merkel era.

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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". The radical youth wing had opposed the coalition.

"Criticism of the grand coalition remains", he tweeted after the ballot result."The SPD needs to be more like it has been in recent weeks and less like it has been in recent years - the Jusos will ensure this".

Her weakness on the refugee issue has forced the chancellor to name Jens Spahn, her main critic within the conservative bloc, as health minister in the new government.

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

A "No" from a membership that is wary of repeating the bruising experience of the past four years of "grand coalition" would pitch Germany into greater uncertainty at a time when the European Union is looking to its largest country for leadership on a host of economic and security issues.

Sueddeutsche daily noted that "she is the one who has made it clear that the CDU is now no longer without a successor for Merkel".

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