Germany gets new right-left coalition government

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Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have come to an agreement to form a coalition government.

It ends a two-month hiatus in German politics during which long negotiations were needed to form a government, and national and European business had to be put on hold.

“The spirit of this coalition agreement was always driven by the idea that Europe is of paramount importance, which is also reflected in the chapter about Europe. We need Europe, Germany can only be strong if Europe is, and the euro stands for our united Europe as our common currency,” said Merkel in Berlin.

It is Germany’s second grand right-left coalition in 15 years. Angela Merkel will remain Chancellor, but for the moment the distribution of the various ministries and balance of power has yet to be worked out.

The agreement needs validation from party members, but they are not expected to defy the leadership.

Notable policy announced on Wednesday included changing retirement criteria from a fixed age to the number of years worked, a new minimum wage, and dual nationality to be offered to the German-born children of immigrants.