German Social Democrats Back New Merkel-Led Coalition

(From Reuters)

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) voted decisively for another coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Sunday, clearing the way for a new government in Europe’s largest economy and ending months of political uncertainty.

Two thirds of the membership voted“yes” to the deal, a party official said — a wider margin than many had expected — meaning Merkel could be sworn in for a fourth term by mid-March, in a repeat of the grand coalition that has governed since 2013.

The challenges are piling up for Merkel, who has been acting chancellor for more than five months since an inconclusive election, with Europe looking to its largest country for leadership on a host of economic and security issues.

Addressing party activists lining the balconies around the atrium of the party’s Berlin headquarters early on Sunday, acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz said:“We now have clarity: the SPD will join the next German government.”

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