Angela Merkel returns as chancellor for fourth term

Germany finally has a government in place. Angela Merkel today cleared the final hurdle in her return to power as the Social Democratic Party (SPD) voted in favour of entering coalition with her conservatives.

The party rank-and-file voted by two thirds, a larger margin than expected, to join a new government and hand Mrs Merkel a fourth term as chancellor, ending months of political paralysis.

Angela Merkel’s party agreed to form another “grand coalition” government with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Congratulating the SPD for its “clear result”, Merkel said she was looking forward to “further cooperation for the good of our country,” according to a tweet attributed to her on her CDU party’s account.

Following the resignation of the failed candidate for chancellor Martin Schulz, the Social Democrats are likely to next month elect the former labour minister Andrea Nahles as the first female leader in its 155-year history.

Merkel will have to draw on all of the diplomatic know-how acquired in her 13 years in power to find a response to Donald Trump’s threat to tax Europe-made cars.

Closer to home, Merkel and her ministers also have find innovative ways to avert bans on diesel cars in highly polluted cities such as Stuttgart or Düsseldorf, rendered legal by a court ruling last week, which would affect millions of drivers. (Agencies)