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German government forms 'grand coalition' of right and left

The agreement between Social Democrat party members and Merkel's conservatives paves the way for her to begin a third term as Chancellor.

Angela merkel germany 2012 10 12Enlarge
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 27, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany's center-left Social Democrat party agreed to join conservative leader and current Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday in government, paving the way for her to begin her third term in office. 

The governing pact, which was decided by a mail-in referendum, ushers in a centrist uniting Social Democrats and Merkel's Christian Democrats and sister party the Christian Social Union ,a move that will likely cement Germany's austerity-valuing stance on the European debt crisis, wrote the Wall Street Journal.

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It has taken Germany around three months to put together a new government, after Merkel's conservative party carried the September 22nd elections, but did not manage to cement a majority, and saw some of their pro-business partners lose seats. 

About 76 percent of the 475,000 strong Social Democrat party approved the "grand coalition" deal that would unite right and left,wrote the Washington Post, while 24 percent voted against the scheme. 

“What we want to do now is to show the 24 percent over the next four years that the 76 percent were right,” said party leader Sigmar Gabriel to the Post, adding that the Social Democrats had shown their “sense of responsibility” to Germany in the vote.

The Social Democrat Party managed to convince Merkel to accept their leftist policies in order to secure their coalition votes, wrote Reuters, indicating that the more liberal party may have a greater hand in German government policies during this third Merkel term. 

Here is a Euronews video on the impending arrival of the German "grand coalition." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/germany/131214/german-government-forms-grand-coalition-right-and-left