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Merkel Defies Critics, Vows to Govern for Full Four-Year Term

Merkel Defies Critics, Vows to Govern for Full Four-Year TermMerkel Defies Critics, Vows to Govern for Full Four-Year Term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Sunday to serve another full four-year term despite growing criticism within her conservative ranks of the sweeping concessions she made to hold onto power.

The veteran leader said that despite the sniping over a poor election result and the loss of key ministries in a fresh coalition deal, she felt no decline of her authority and wanted to stay at the helm of Europe’s biggest economy until 2021, AFP reported.

“I understand the disappointment,” she said, but stressed that she “naturally” planned to stick with her pledge to stay on for four years as chancellor and party chief rather than make way for a successor before the end of the term.

“I am a person who keeps what they have promised,” Merkel, who is head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told public broadcaster ZDF.

The 63-year-old won September elections but fell short of a clear majority, in large part due to the rise of the far-right, anti-immigration AfD which took votes away from all major parties.

After a grueling marathon of negotiations, she managed on Wednesday to forge another “grand coalition” deal with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who however extracted a high price.

The SPD snatched the powerful finance, foreign and labor ministries, as well as the justice and environment portfolios, while Merkel’s Bavarian allies the CSU took the interior ministry.

News weekly Der Spiegel in a cover illustration showed a nude Merkel, with gleeful SPD figures running off with her clothes.

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