German parties reach deal

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Three German parties have reached a deal to form a new government that will end the era of longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to Olaf Scholz, who is poised to replace her.

Scholz, of the center-left Social Democrats, said he expects that members of the parties will give their blessing to the deal in the next 10 days.

At a news conference, Scholz and other leaders gave some indications of how the coalition would govern.

Among the first measures agreed: compulsory vaccinations in places where particularly vulnerable people are cared for, with the option of expanding that rule.

That comes as Germany is seeing a surge in cases, and the political transition has somewhat hampered the country’s response.

Scholz also stressed the importance of a sovereign Europe, friendship with France and partnership with the United States as key cornerstones of the government’s foreign policy — continuing a long post-war tradition.(AP)

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