The last major obstacle to a new coalition goverment in Germany has been removed after the country’s leading parties approved the deal.At seperate congresses, the three main parties endorsed the pact creating Germany’s first grand coalition for 40 years.
Angela Merkel is now almost certain to become the country’s first woman chancellor. But she’s taking the helm of a potentially unsteady ship. A poll at the weekend revealed the majority of Germans believe the arrangement will not last for the full four year legislative term. The parties were forced into coalition talks after the tight election left them with no other viable alternatives for forming a stable government. At the heart of the agreement is a plan to bring Germany’s budget deficit back to withing EU limits by 2007..a huge challenge needing an estimated 35 billion euros. Gerhard Schroeder said a bittersweet farewell in his last speech to his party as Germany’s Chancellor. For the time being he keeps his seat in parliament, but there’s speculation he may not serve the full four year term. The lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag, will have the finaly say nextTuesday , but this is likely to be a formality given that the coalition party have an overwhelming majority there.