German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been re-elected for a fourth term while nationalists have made a historic surge in federal elections.
Its current coalition partner, the social democratic SPD, says it will go into opposition after historic losses.
The nationalist AfD has won its first seats and is set to be the third party, a result that sparked some protests.
Despite recognising that it was her party’s worst result since 1945, she said the “strategic goals” of the CDU’s election campaign had been reached, and gave her a clear mandate to form the next government. But she called the outcome “a result that was not as good as we had expected”.
She also promised to listen to the “concerns and anxieties” of AfD voters in order to win back their votes.
French President Emmanuel Macron called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to congratulate her on winning a fourth term in office and said France and Germany would forge ahead with their cooperation.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras congratulated Angela Merkel on her election victory on Sunday, with a message posted on Twitter.
“Congratulations to Angela Merkel on her victory in the German elections. A democratic Europe with solidarity is today more important and essential than ever. All of us that believe in [Europe] have an obligation, in spite of any differences, to work together to deepen and expand European values,” Tsipras wrote.