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Smallest partner approves deal on new German government

09 February 2018

Talking to reporters after marathon overnight talks that produced the final agreement Wednesday, Merkel said that the agreement will help keep Germany's economy strong and guide the country into the future.

Horst Seehofer, CSU chief and designated interior minister in the new government with the CDU and the Social Democrats (SPD), is to head the committee which is set to meet at 10 am (0900 GMT) in Munich.

Merkel, Europe's most experienced leader, has seen her standing at home and overseas weakened by the longest stretch of coalition-building in the country's postwar history.

The SPD leader, Martin Schulz, faces a struggle to convince the more militant factions within his party, including its youth wing known as "Jusos", to enter into a coalition with the centre-right ruling party.

If a deal emerges, it won't bring an immediate end to the political limbo following Germany's September 24 election.

Merkel has relied on exactly this coalition for two of her three four-year terms.

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Schulz responded by abandoning his post-election vow to renew the party in opposition- a U-turn that angered many.

Citing unidentified party officials, dpa said that Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union and the Social Democrats overcame the last hurdles to a coalition deal on Wednesday. He ruled out personally joining another government led by Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile the finance job could go to the popular mayor of northern port city Hamburg, pro-business centrist Olaf Scholz, often eyed as a potential SPD chancellor candidate.

The result is due to be announced on March 4.

A green light could see a new government in place by the end of next month.

It's been over four months since its latest elections, and Germany finally has a government again.

Smallest partner approves deal on new German government