Must act quickly on European investment budget - Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to Horst Seehofer and Olaf Scholz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday, two days before she is to launch her new government, that she will pay a quick visit to French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss European Union reform proposals.

The Chancellor's call to arms came at the signing of the coalition agreement between her CDU party, the Bavarian CSU and the centre-left SPD. "I am convinced that after the election in Russian Federation we will have a new start whereby we can make a true attempt and see whether we can make qualitative progress on the Minsk agreement", she added.

Despite a hard start - former SPD head Martin Schulz first refused to enter a grand coalition, then was forced to walk back on his position, prompting his resignation - the parties are now in a position to "work together constructively" and put an end to Germany's "time of uncertainty", Scholz told reporters at a joint press conference alongside Merkel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

Merkel is scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term as German chancellor Wednesday this week, along with the new German government, after nearly six months since federal elections took place in the country.

A gloved hand wiping a cabinet with a cloth
German lawmakers elect weakened Merkel to fourth term

But some fault lines have already emerged, with tensions over the sequencing and extent of reforms.

An Emid poll released on Sunday showed the party jumped 3 points on the week to 19 percent while Merkel's conservatives were unchanged at 33 percent.

AÂ so-called grand coalition has ruled Germany since 2013, but when all three parties lost support in September's general election, the SPD initially said it would go into opposition and regroup.



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