BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Monday to ensure her new cabinet will work for the citizens of Germany, providing the country with a strong voice in Europe and standing alongside France when facing global challenges such as international trade.
During a press conference in Berlin, Merkel extended her congratulations to the Social Democratic Party for its recent internal ballot, in which members backed a third edition of the so-called Grand Coalition between her conservative Christian Democratic Union, the CDU’s Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union, and the SPD.
“I welcome the result of the SPD’s membership vote,” Merkel said. “I believe this constitutes a very, very good foundation for a joint government work.”
With the German parliament likely voting her fourth term as chancellor on March 14, Merkel said that “we need Europe, we need a strong German voice,” to work along with France and other European partners to face issues such as the Syrian war, China’s competitive challenge or the new guidelines on international trade.
Without explicitly mentioning United States President Donald Trump’s plans of slapping trade tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports, Merkel said that many jobs in Germany depended on Europe’s response, underscoring the need to have a cabinet ready to act soon.
Merkel said it was important for the German cabinet to begin working as early as possible on implementing the coalition’s basic policy agreements, which were tantamount to “a book full of mandates and tasks.”
Six months after the election, she added, the citizens had the right to a government, which is why it was important for it to start working “in a matter of days.”
The future cabinet ministers, Merkel warned, had a great task ahead of them: to develop the projects focused on future jobs, preserving the welfare state and providing equal living conditions in Germany.