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Merkel dusts off caretaker hat as German parties weigh up coalition options

John Downing


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a CDU/CSU rally ahead of the general election, in Munich, Germany, September 24, 2021. Picture taken September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a CDU/CSU rally ahead of the general election, in Munich, Germany, September 24, 2021. Picture taken September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

So, will Angela Merkel, wearing a caretaker hat, be delivering yet another address to the German nation on New Year’s Eve? The question was evoked by the person who may be about to succeed her as head of the government in Berlin, Olaf Scholz, whose party just shaded a very tight election on Sunday.

The Irish Labour Party’s allies, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), emerged just 1.6pc ahead of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the popular vote. Yet the SPD have 10 parliamentary seats more than the CDU and should be able to pull together modern Germany’s first three-party coalition.


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