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Last updated at 15:34 BST, Monday, 28 September 2009

Merkel enters coalition talks

Summary

28 September 2009

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is beginning talks with the pro-business Free Democrats on forming a centre-right coalition. Mrs Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc is back in power after a sweeping victory in Sunday's general election.

Reporter:
Jonny Dymond

Angela Merkel has been re-elected

Angela Merkel has been re-elected in Germany's general vote

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Report

There are some long days of talks to come, but the shape of Germany's new government is clear.

Angela Merkel can dump the centre-left Social Democrats she has uncomfortably cohabited with for four years, and instead invite the pro-business Free Democrats to join her as a junior partner. Together they will have a comfortable majority in parliament. Ms Merkel described the result as amazing.

Her opposite number, Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier had a terrible night, his party battered down to just 22.5% of the vote. It was, he said, a bitter defeat.

Jonny Dymond, BBC News, Berlin

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Vocabulary

there are some long days of talks to come

the discussions to form a coalition government will go on for a while but it's not known (as indicated by the word some) exactly how much time and effort they will take

the shape

here, the essence, the overall political character

dump

get rid of

uncomfortably cohabited with

here, had no other choice but to work with

a comfortable majority

here, many more seats

her opposite number

here, her political rival who is head of another political party

battered down to just

suffering great disappointment after receiving only

a bitter defeat

when someone loses in a contest heavily and/or against their expectations

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