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Merkel seeks party's support for new German gov't
Merkel seeks her party's support for new German coalition, points to continuity on Europe
Associated Press
2013-12-09 09:22 PM

BERLIN (AP) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking her conservative party's support for a new German government alliance with its center-left rivals and pointing to continuity in Berlin's hard-nosed approach to Europe's debt crisis.

Merkel's Christian Democrats emerged the strongest force from September elections but fell short of a majority, and their previous, pro-business coalition partners were voted out of parliament. Merkel then negotiated with the center-left Social Democrats to form a "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties.

Merkel appealed to a party conference Monday to back the resulting agreement, which features some center-left demands such as a national minimum wage and making it easier for some people to retire early.

The Social Democrats are putting the deal to a ballot of their entire 470,000-strong membership. The result is expected this weekend.

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