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Germany: Merkel, SPD agree on coalition government

Germany: Merkel, SPD agree on coalition government
Chancellor's conservative bloc and Social Democrats reach breakthrough after record 136 days of political stalemate

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Social Democrats have agreed to form a “grand coalition” government after 136 days of political stalemate, media reported on Wednesday.

Leaders of the Christian democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) have reached a breakthrough after marathon talks that started Tuesday morning, German news agency DPA reported.

The SPD, which had been reluctant to enter a new coalition with conservatives, is expected to hold key ministerial posts, including foreign, finance and labor, according to the reports.

Merkel’s Bavarian ally Christian Social Union (CSU) secured four ministries, including the Interior.

The coalition deal is still subject to approval by the SPD’s around 460,000 members.

The SPD’s traditional left-wing and the youth organization, Jusos, have been opposing a coalition government with the Christian Democrats, and calling for a reform within the party.

On Sept. 24, the Social Democrats suffered their worst election result in decades, but remained the second-largest party in parliament.

Many Social Democrats have blamed their poor showing on the party's membership in the previous “grand coalition”.

source: News Feed
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