German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on a German TV program Sunday that she plans to be in office for another four years despite criticism that she “sold out” to prolong her 12 year tenure as chancellor.
Why it matters: Merkel justified the “painful” concessions she made with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for a new coalition deal that is waiting to be certified by SPD members who disagree with the decision. Germany’s ambivalent election last year left the country without a stable government, weakening Merkel’s authority and the conservative party.
In a marathon, 24-hour session at the headquarters of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union alongside a tree-lined canal in central Berlin, the chancellor handed key cabinet posts to the SPD, including the finance ministry her party has held for the last eight years. Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz on Feb. 7.
Merkel, 63, acknowledged afterward that Wednesday’s endgame to unlock her fourth term required concessions that “weren’t exactly easy.” They were required, though, as prizes for the Social Democrats, whose members now have the final vote on another stint as her junior partner in government. “The SPD got its wish list,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg bank in London. “This government will have an even clearer SPD stamp than the former grand coalition did.”