German lawmakers elect Merkel to fourth term as chancellor

2018 Ferdinand Ostrop  AP      
                                               Stefan Meister

2018 Ferdinand Ostrop AP Stefan Meister

Once again, Ms Merkel will preside over a so-called grand coalition between her conservative Christian Democrat Union/Christian Social Union and the centre-left Social Democrats.

Angela Merkel said what gifts were exchanged with Vladimir Putin. Those include USA tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum announced by President Donald Trump, along with threats of taxes on German automakers.

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The head of the German government said on Monday at a press conference in Berlin.

"I am optimistic that we'll manage it", Merkel said. In Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has been awaiting a German response to his calls for an ambitious European Union reform agenda. She is one of a handful of political veterans who made it into government, along with Horst Seehofer as interior minister and Olaf Scholz in finance.

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The story was similar under the revenue head for day-to-day operating costs, which in any case dwarfs the capital outlay in a skewed 67:37 ratio due to a ballooning salary bill.

The leaders of Germany's conservative parties and Social Democrats (SPD) plan to sign their coalition government agreement on Monday, bringing an official end to almost half a year of political uncertainty.

Angela Merkel "optimistic" and eager to 'get to work very quickly'.

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"The fourth "grand coalition" in Germany didn't start as a marriage of love", said Scholz, the acting Social Democrat leader.

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