Merkel elected to fourth term by German parliament


Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Monday to work for a strong Europe and said she's hopeful talks can resolve the standoff over USA tariffs, declaring that "it's finally time to start work" as Germany's new government prepares to take office, reports AP.

Germany has been locked in political uncertainty for nearly six months after millions of voters abandoned the two main parties.

Merkel, wearing a white blazer, said "I accept the vote" and beamed happily as applause filled the Bundestag chamber, where her scientist husband Joachim Sauer and her 89-year-old mother Herlind Kasner were among the well-wishers.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German leader had condemned the attack and assured May in a telephone call that she was taking the British government's views on possible Russian involvement in the attack extremely seriously. In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has been awaiting a German response to his calls for an ambitious European Union reform agenda.

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Merkel, who is due to be sworn-in on Wednesday will head a much-changed new Cabinet. But after those talks collapsed spectacularly, both the conservatives and the SPD came under pressure to revive the grand coalition, which has governed Germany for the majority of Merkel's time in office. The Social Democrats agreed to join the government only after lengthy internal wrangling.

The grand coalition, mockingly dubbed a "GroKo" in German, didn't start as a "love marriage", her designated vice chancellor and finance minister, the SPD's Olaf Scholz, drily observed this week.

"That is the job we have and we will fulfill it".