German Chancellor Merkel Defends Painful Coalition Concessions, Denies Authority Waning

Merkel defies critics vows to govern for full four-year term

The Sunday interview came with less than two weeks to go before a vote by the SPD's 463,723 members on whether to rejoin a Merkel-led coalition.

"I understand the disappointment", she said, but stressed that she "naturally" planned to stick with her pledge to stay on for four years as chancellor and party chief rather than make way for a successor before the end of the term.

The governor of Schleswig-Holstein state, Daniel Guenther, said earlier in daily Die Welt that "we need new faces" in the Cabinet.

"We sure did pay a price for a stable government", Merkel said.

Paul Ziemiak, leader of the conservatives' youth wing, welcomed Merkel's readiness to set out her picks for ministerial posts before a CDU party conference on February 26, but lamented the decision to give up the powerful finance ministry to the SPD.

Many in the SPD rank and file are also unhappy with the coalition deal, which will renew an awkward ruling alliance with Merkel's bloc that has governed Germany since 2013.

The coalition agreement has been criticised by some conservatives who feel the next government will have an SPD-stamped agenda.

Merkel said that if they rejected the deal, Germany would probably hold a new election.

She sought to allay fears among conservatives that by ceding the finance ministry, the next government will stray from the strict fiscal discipline enforced by former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"I want to say that the we (the conservatives) have also approved the policies (in the agreement) and the finance minister can not simply do as he likes".

"The transition to the post-Merkel era has begun", judged the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, which added that Merkel's power was waning and "a unsafe mood" was starting to spread within her CDU.

The SPD have criticised Schaeuble's "forced austerity" on southern European countries like Greece and had vowed in the election campaign to boost investment.

The 63-year-old won September elections but fell short of a clear majority, in large part due to the rise of the far-right, anti-immigration AfD which took votes away from all major parties.



Latest news

Queen bans plastic straws and bottles from royal properties
Canteens for staff will use china plates, glasses and recyclable paper cups and provide compostable packaging for takeaway items. Solar panels are being installed and electricity systems updated with an eye toward improving energy efficiency by 40 percent.

US Bancorp DE Boosts Stake in Raytheon (RTN)
Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Raytheon from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Wellington Mgmt Grp Incorporated Limited Liability Partnership stated it has 2.69M shares or 0.12% of all its holdings.

Johnny Football says he's bipolar, working on comeback
Manziel was playing for Texas A&M when he become the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. He said he has since stopped drinking and is taking medication for bipolar disorder.

How Analysts Feel About PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE:PMT)?
TheStreet upgraded shares of New York Mortgage Trust from a "d+" rating to a "c" rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) has risen 4.86% since February 11, 2017 and is uptrending.

Flu suspected in 5-year-old Brooklyn girl's death
She tested positive for the flu after her death, but it is not clear if she had a flu test before she died, sources told NY1. The girl was at her Canarsie home Saturday when EMS was called because the 5-year-old was having trouble breathing.

Other news