Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Merkel Tries to Allay Conservative Fear of 'SPD Agenda' in New Coalition

Merkel defies critics vows to govern for full four-year term Will Germany's Social Democrats Take One More Chance on a Grand Coalition?
Orlando Vargas | 15 February, 2018, 07:20

Last February 7, the SPD and the Demochristian Union (CDU), led by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, signed an agreement to form a Great Coalition, formed also by Socialchristians (CSU), for the third time since 2005 that alliance governs the country.

"Of course the list will draw from party's entire spectrum", Merkel told public broadcaster ZDF in the interview. She modified her image as a socialist rabble-rouser while serving in Merkel's cabinet over the past four years.

If the Social Democrats' members do not vote to back the coalition deal and Germany is forced to hold a new election, Merkel said she does not rule out again seeking another term as chancellor.

And Mrs May will round-off the process in about three weeks' time with a pitch on what kind of overall relationship the United Kingdom wants with the European Union after we leave.

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Rising US supply knocks oil prices for a third day
However, U.S. crude inventories are still set for their largest fall in the first quarter of the year in more than 20 years. US crude futures rose on the news, with West Texas Intermediate up 42 cents to $59.61 a barrel as of 10:45 a.m.


Winter Olympics: Canada land third gold medal with curling mixed doubles win
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Volker Bouffier, CDU vice president and governor of Hesse, approved of Merkel's intervention to quell internal disappointment caused by concessions made during "grand coalition" negotiations that ended recently. As a result of the pact, the CDU will occupy the ministries of Economy and Energy, Education and Investigation; Agriculture and Food; Defense and Health. "We don't live in a monarchy where you can arrange your own successor", the 37-year-old said. "This is a good coalition deal". "It expresses the commonalities of two partners without a joint agenda".

Amid deep rank-and-file divisions over the coalition deal and the distribution of ministerial posts, and facing a slump in opinion polls, SPD leaders are trying to convince 464,000 party members to endorse the accord with Ms Merkel in a ballot on which her fourth term depends. The party's youth wing is pushing the Social Democrats to go into opposition, and leadership questions mired its top officials. We looked on the coalition agreement text, which provides directions on the new German coalition´s position on energy and carbon. A vote will then take place at an extraordinary party congress on April 22.

"With my resignation from office and decision not to participate in the government, I want to bring the personnel debate in the SPD to an end so that the members can really concentrate on what is in the coalition agreement", Schulz told reporters.

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