Merkel gets support for a fourth term

With the SPD entering a coalition Angela Merkel will get a fourth term as German Chancellor

With the SPD entering a coalition Angela Merkel will get a fourth term as German Chancellor. Markus Schreiber News Merkel finally gets a coalition

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is awaiting the results of a vote by her potential coalition partner — the center-left Social Democrats — to learn if she will be able to form a new government.

The decision ends nearly six months of political uncertainty in Germany, the longest time the country has been without a government in its postwar history.

That cost her party dearly in last year's election, which saw the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party enter parliament for the first time.

The SPD members' vote also helped Europe's leading powerhouse avoid snap elections or an unstable minority government. Congratulating the SPD for its "clear result", Merkel said using her CDU party's Twitter account that she was looking forward to "further cooperation for the good of our country".

Former SPD Chairman Martin Schulz was forced to resign when he initially ruled out another grand coalition.

"This was a really important democratic decision for our country", said acting Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz, who is in line to become Germany's next finance minister and Merkel's deputy.

By taking the lead on tax harmonization, France and Germany are hoping to encourage other member states to support the proposed European Union common consolidated corporate tax base, a measure to which many EU countries are known to be hostile - most notably Ireland. With the SPD's emphatic decision to move forward with a new partnership, Merkel is expected to launch her fourth government by mid-March.

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.

In the internal referendum of the 463,000 plus SPD members, over 66 percent of ballots voted for "yes", with a high participation rate of 78.39 percent, Dietmar Nietan, head of the SPD Mandate and Counting Commission, announced at a press conference at the SPD Headquarters.

The centre-left SPD had furiously debated whether to extend the "grand coalition" for four more years after it slumped in last year's election.

"In 2021 at the latest, they'll pay the price", the party tweeted.

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