Merkel Pledges to Get ‘Back to Work’ After Coalition Rift Eases

(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her government “urgently needs to get back to work” after a clash over migration policy, though she wouldn’t rule out future coalition strife on other matters.

In an interview Wednesday with public broadcaster ARD, Merkel said the deal with her Bavarian sister party to set up “transit centers” at the border for asylum seekers met her test of avoiding unilateral measures by Germany that could cause havoc in other European countries. The compromise on Monday averted a breakup of the Christian Democrat-led bloc that’s headed most German governments since World War II.

“Of course I can’t promise you that there won’t be renewed controversy about other topics,” but restoring a measure of political calm to Germany would be “helpful,” Merkel said. “We urgently need to return to work for the sake of those who elected us.”

While Merkel’s bloc quelled its immediate conflict, Merkel still needs to get her Social Democratic coalition partners on board for the deal. That would clear away a domestic obstacle before she returns to the world stage next week at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit that’s likely to be contentious.

A former senior lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union said he expects the German chancellor to ride out coalition strife and serve her full fourth term ending in 2021.

“You can be very sure that she’s going to survive,” Michael Fuchs, a deputy head of Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led parliamentary caucus until last year, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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