Angela Merkel succeeds with new coalition deal

However, any deal is subject to approval by the SPD's 464,000 members in a postal ballot before their party can move ahead and join another coalition with Merkel after serving as her junior partner from 2013.

Germany's role in global affairs will be handed a boost by this agreement and bring some relief to investors and partner countries, who had been concerned by the negotiation stalemate at a period when Europe is facing multiple challenges like Britain's impending exit from the European Union and the need for euro zone reform.

Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer said: "Do not underestimate the impact of the SPD getting the influential finance ministry".

Henrik Enderlein, a professor of political economy at the Hertie School of Governance, said on Twitter that Merkel had made "major concessions" by giving up key ministries to the SPD and the CSU.

The deal also sees Mrs Merkel's party lose the interior brief to its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU).

That would leave only an unprecedented minority government under Merkel or a new election as options.

The SPD has sought to drive up the price for a new deal, which it must still sell to its 440,000 members who will vote on the pact in a yes-or-no referendum.

"With this coalition agreement, Germany will take an active and leading role in the European Union again", he said, adding that the government will be prepared to commit more funds into the EU budget.

The agreement represents a U-turn by the SPD, which had originally said it would rather rebuild itself in opposition than prop up another Merkel administration, after suffering its worst election result since World War II. "She definitely wants to do the full term... but it's clear to everyone it's the last term for Angela Merkel".

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To win over the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), Ms. Merkel ended up handing the finance ministry as well as the foreign ministry to SPD appointees.

The CDU and the SPD have been in coalition talks since the first week of January after the collapse of Merkel's attempt to form a coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the Green party.

The broadcaster said that the Social Democratic Party, or SPD, leadership confirmed reports of the deal over a Whatsapp message to its members.

If approved, the agreement would give control of the foreign ministry, finance ministry, and the labor and social ministry to the party, which is led by former European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

Greek hopes of debt relief were boosted on Wednesday with the likely appointment of a center-left finance minister in Berlin, as German politicians finally agreed on a new grand-coalition government.

Mr Scholz is, however, seen as a pragmatist who is unlikely to take the ministry on a radical new course.

"We have a coalition agreement that will do a lot of positive things for a lot of citizens", Altmaier told reporters after he emerged from more than 24 hours of contentious talks.

Social Democrats also demanded a more restrictive policy on Germany's arms exports.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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