Merkel vows to work for the 'good of Germany'

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Spahn, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) who does not shy away from criticising the chancellor, told the Deutschlandfunk public broadcaster:"The SPD must decide: either we rule together or some will try to play opposition within the government".

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she would work with France to tackle pressing issues such as trade policy, the war in Syria and competition with China after the Social Democrats (SPD) approved joining a coalition with her conservatives.

Both sides had been weakened as voters angry about the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers in Germany since 2015 turned to the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The idea was to keep one of the most influential leaders, Merkel as the Chancellor in Berlin. In order for the SPD to agree on entering into a new coalition with the CDU/CSU, many concessions had to be made in their favor.

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The SPD - which had the final say on the coalition deal - has torn itself apart over the decision to renew the alliance. The radical youth wing had opposed the coalition.

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.

Angela Merkel has welcomed the decision by members of Germany's Social Democratic Party to support a coalition government with the long-time chancellor.

He said the FDP would examine legislative proposals on a case-by-case basis if Merkel was forced to form a minority government, but added: "Such a government would probably only last a few months".

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".

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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.

The coalition agreement announced February 7 specified the division of ministries between the parties with the CDU regaining the economy ministry (BMWi) including energy for the first time since the 1960s. In the end, though, two-thirds of its 464,000 members voted in favor of the coalition deal.

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.

Now that Germany will finally have a proper government again - elections were originally held back in September - the real work can begin, and there are going to be some major changes. Immigration is expected to be a key issue in this fall's state election in Bavaria, where Merkel's allies fear the fallout from her open-door policies.

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