Merkel's Conservatives, Center-Left Reach Deal on New German Govt

Image: Merkel's Conservatives, Center-Left Reach Deal on New German Govt German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of the ruling Christian Democrats, Christian Socialist Union chairman Horst Seehofer, right, and Social Democratic Party chairman Sigmar Gabriel after signing a coalition agreement in Berlin on Nov. 27.

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 05:30 AM


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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and Germany's main center-left party have reached a deal to form a new government, more than two months after the country's elections.

Negotiators from Merkel's Union bloc and the Social Democrats said they concluded a coalition deal early Wednesday after an all-night round of talks.

Merkel won elections in September but fell short of a parliamentary majority and had to reach across the aisle for a new coalition partner.

The "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties still requires approval in a ballot of the Social Democrats' members, some of whom are deeply skeptical. The result is expected in mid-December.

The two sides agreed to introduce a mandatory national minimum wage, a key center-left demand, but the conservatives got their way on their refusal to raise taxes.

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