Merkel eyes social cohesion as she presses for new government–business.html

By Andrea Shalal BERLIN (Reuters) – Conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure after three months of failing to form a new ruling coalition, on Sunday vowed to address growing social divisions as she worked rapidly to build a stable German government. “And Germany will only prosper if its success serves all people and improves and enriches our lives.” Merkel, seeking a fourth term in office, is trying to persuade the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to extend the “grand coalition” that ruled for the past four years despite big losses suffered by both political blocs in the Sept. 24 polls. The alternative would be a minority government or new elections that could hand further gains to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which entered parliament for the first time amid concerns about Merkel’s decision in 2015 to welcome over a million mainly Muslim migrants to Germany.

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