March 5, 2018 / 9:25 AM / a year ago

Merkel welcomes SPD vote, says new German govt must start work quickly

BERLIN, March 5 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed a decisive vote by Social Democrat (SPD) members to join a coalition with her conservatives and said the new government needed to start work quickly to tackle issues such as international trade policy.

“What we’re seeing and hearing every day is that Europe needs to step up and Germany needs to have a strong voice there along with France and other member states,” Merkel said on Monday.

She said this particularly related to issues of international trade policy - on which she said a lot of jobs in Germany depend -, openness in competition with China and the situation in Syria.

She said it was therefore important that the new German government started work quickly and added that a “very, very good foundation has been laid for joint work in government” after 66 percent of SPD members voted for another conservative-SPD tie-up. (Reporting by Michelle Martin and Joseph Nasr Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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