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Merkel calls on new German government to start work quickly

Parliament is expected to meet on March 14 to re-elect Ms Merkel as chancellor.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed the coalition deal and says “it’s important that we start quickly with our work”.

Ms Merkel was speaking a day after the centre-left Social Democrats voted overwhelmingly to remain in a coalition with her conservative bloc, giving the chancellor the support needed to preserve her governing coalition and secure a fourth term as leader of Europe’s most powerful economy.

Parliament is expected to meet on March 14 to re-elect Ms Merkel as chancellor, ending the longest time Germany has been without a new government after elections in its post-war history.

The Social Democrats were initially reluctant to extend their coalition with Ms Merkel, but eventually agreed to a deal that gives them control of the foreign, labour and finance ministries — three major portfolios — in return for supporting curbs on immigration.

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