Merkel's conservative Union bloc and their traditional center-left
rivals, the Social Democrats, agreed Wednesday to form a "grand
coalition" of Germany's biggest parties.
Merkel said after party leaders signed the deal that the coalition
will stand for "solid finances, secure prosperity and social
security." It will introduce a national minimum wage and raise
pensions for some, but also is pledging not to raise taxes.
A potentially tricky hurdle remains before Merkel can be sworn in
for a third term: the Social Democrats are putting the agreement to
a ballot of their members. The result is expected Dec. 14.
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