Angela Merkel insists ‘painful’ coalition talks have not undermined her authority 

Angela Merkel said on Sunday that she intends to serve another full term as German chancellor, and denied that the “painful” concessions she was forced to make to the Social Democrats (SPD) during coalition negotiations have undermined her authority.

In an interview with ZDF, Germany’s public broadcaster, Mrs Merkel refuted suggestions that she would soon give up party chairmanship, holding firm against critics in her own party who have said that she has sold out in order to remain in power.

“I ran for a four-year term,” she said, referring to Germany’s federal election in September, in which Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won the largest share of the vote, but not the majority needed to govern alone.

“I promised those four years and I’m someone who keeps their promises,” Mrs Merkel said. After four months of talks, Mrs Merkel finally managed to reach an agreement on forming a new coalition government with the centre-left SPD last Wednesday.

However, she admitted on Sunday that she was forced to make difficult concessions. Many of her conservative supporters feel the next government will have an SPD-stamped agenda.

Olaf Scholz, an SPD politician who is expected to become the next minister of finance, said on Saturday that Germany should not dictate economic policies to its eurozone partners and signalled that there would now be a break with the past.

When asked whether she was planning to prepare a successor to lead her conservatives in the next election, Mrs Merkel told the ZDF broadcaster that she would like to see a younger generation fill ministerial posts.

"We need to show that we can start with a new team," Mrs Merkel said in the interview on Sunday evening. "We have six ministerial posts to fill and from my point of view we need to ensure that not only the over-60s are considered but also younger people."

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