All the Best Angela Merkel
Merkel in Germany coalition talks
Angela Merkel said she wanted to be a chancellor “for all Germans”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to hold coalition talks with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) after a sweeping win in Sunday’s election.
The priority of her second term would be to return Europe’s largest economy to prosperity, Mrs Merkel said.
She said a coalition between the FDP and her centre-right CDU/CSU bloc, which should be formed within a month, offered the best chance for recovery.
Germany has been enduring its most severe recession since World War II.
Government estimates suggest output is set to be down by around five percent this year, and the budget deficit is surging.
The chancellor said she would hold “swift and decisive” talks with FDP leader Guido Westerwelle, tipped by some to be Germany’s next foreign minister.
Ronald Pofalla, the CDU’s general secretary, said: “Coalition talks should start as soon as possible… and it is our goal to have a coalition deal in a month at the latest.”
Mrs Merkel’s previous coalition partners, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), suffered their worst election performance since 1949.
‘Hard job ahead’
In her victory speech, Mrs Merkel said she wanted to be a chancellor of all Germans at a moment of crisis and that protecting and creating jobs would be her “highest aim”.
BBC News, Berlin
There are some long days of talks to come, but the shape of Germany’s new government is clear.
Angela Merkel can dump the centre-left Social Democrats she has uncomfortably cohabited with for four years and instead invite the pro-business Free Democrats to join her as a junior partner.
Her opposite number, Social Democrat Frank Walter Steinmayer, had a terrible night. It was he said, a “bitter defeat”.
She added: “We can really celebrate tonight, but afterwards we have a hard job ahead of us.”
With the CDU/CSU winning 33% of the vote and the Free Democrats (FDP) capturing 14.6%, according to preliminary official results, the two parties have enough seats to ensure a majority in parliament, analysts say.
The Social Democrat SPD won 23% of votes, while the Left party took 11.9% and the Greens 10.7%.
In Germany – Europe’s largest economy and the biggest member of the European Union – a parliamentary majority can be secured with the support of less than 50% if the parties in question have more support than the other leading parties combined.
‘Vigilant in opposition’
Mr Westerwelle said the new government would act “responsibly”.
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“Now the work starts for real… for Germany and our people,” he said.
Sunday’s results mean the SPD, which has been the junior partner in the “grand coalition” for the past four years, will be ejected from government.
SPD leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his party would be “vigilant in opposition”.
And he added that it “would not be very sensible” to resign, vowing “to go on fighting”.
Several world leaders have congratulated Mrs Merkel on her victory.
US President Barack Obama told her that under a “strong German government” ties between the two countries would “further strengthen and deepen”, the White House said.