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Germany

Liberals Announce "Critical Opposition"

The leader of Germany's pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), Guido Westerwelle, has announced that his party will enter into "critical" political opposition against the "grand coalition" that has been formed between the big center-right and center-left parties, to be led by Angela Merkel. He said the FDP would serve as a gadfly to the future coalition with "all of its deficiencies, its hesitancy and its dithering." Although the FDP was the preferred coalition partner of the conservative Christian Democratic/Christian Social Union bloc during the election campaign, Westerwelle said the party would not be voting in parliament for Merkel as chancellor. "From today on, we are in the opposition," he said. He added that he was disappointed in how fast the conservatives were ready to "give up essential ingredients for political change" in their negotiations with the Social Democrats.

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