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BERLIN – Chancellor Angela Merkel says "it's finally time to start work" as Germany's new government prepares to take office nearly six months after the country's election.
Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union, and the center-left Social Democrats were to sign their coalition agreement Monday. Parliament is due to elect Merkel for her fourth term as chancellor on Wednesday, a record 171 days after Germans voted.
The new "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties emerged after Merkel's attempt to forge an alliance with two smaller parties collapsed. The Social Democrats agreed to join the government only after lengthy internal wrangling.
Acting Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz said the coalition isn't a "marriage of love" but the parties can govern well together.