September 22, 2018
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European Union

German grand coalition officially revived, Merkel sets eyes on boosting EU

Berlin, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- The leading figures of Germany's new coalition government vowed Monday to place the continued development of the European Union and the stabilization of the eurozone at the center of their political agenda.

Having signed the agreement marking the official launch of the so-called grand coalition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, of the center-right Christian Democratic Union, Horst Seehofer of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, Christian Social Union, and Olaf Scholz, the acting head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), made statements to the press.

"We are committed to giving a fresh impetus to Europe," said the chancellor, who was set to take on her fourth term in office at the helm of German politics following a grueling five-month period of coalition negotiations since the inconclusive federal election in Sept. 2017, which finally ended with a revival of the CDU/CSU/SPD format.

Sat to her left at the ceremony was Scholz, who has for now taken the reins of the SPD from his predecessor Martin Schulz and was braced to take over at the German ministry of finances in what is one of the most important concessions Merkel had to make during the negotiation period.

"We must take Europe's future into our hands," Scholz told the press, adding that he would work towards "the stabilization of the euro."

The news that a coalition deal had been struck between Merkel and the CDU bloc was widely welcomed by European Union officials given Germany's status as an economic powerhouse on the continent.

But it prompted dissatisfaction closer to home, with many in the SPD youth wing vehemently opposed to cracking a deal with Merkel, whom they deem ideologically incompatible with their own party.

The grand coalition also now meant that the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) will enter the Bundestag as the leading opposition.

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