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Germany: Here is what 2018 has in store for Germany - by Rose-Anne Clermont

Next year, Germany will still be waiting on a government. But with everything from an upcoming World Cup to more benefits for parents, there is a lot to look forward to.

1. Time's up: Merkel has to pick coalition partners
Chancellor Angela Merkel has still yet to successfully form a coalition government, even though federal elections took place three months ago.

With pressure mounting and her popularity waning, Merkel will have to go back to the political negotiating table with her opponents and form a government in 2018.

2. More economic growth, and in some cases, more jobs
Germany's economic upswing is expected to continue, according to a survey by the Institute of German Industry. Of 48 industry associations, two-thirds will continue to see production expansion in 2018.

3. Housing will get more expensive (but not exorbitantly so)
Real estate prices in major German cities will increase but not at the rate we have seen in recent years, Analyse Emperica told German public broadcasting channel ZDF.

4. More benefits for parents
For parents and soon-to-be parents there will also be a few silver linings in 2018, despite January's cloudy weather.

5. Another day off (for one state)
Lower Saxony is set to get an additional national holiday, most likely on Reformation Day, which was a nationwide public holiday in commemoration of Martin Luther's 500th birthday in 2017.

6. Free streaming for online subscription services across the EU
Starting on March 20th, there will be free streaming for users of Netflix, Sky Go or Maxdome - thanks to a change in the European Parliament's rules that previously barred free streaming.

7. More protection when you book holidays online
If you plan on booking your next vacation online, especially if booking multiple services (flights, rental cars, hotels, etc.), there will be more protection to online consumers beginning July 1st 2018.

8. Time for the World Cup
And after what feels like a long wait for many, the World Cup will take place again in June 2018 in Russia, with Germany playing its first match on June 17th against Mexico.

Read more: Here is what 2018 has in store for Germany - The Local

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