Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Merkel defends coalition deal on German TV

Merkel defends coalition deal on German TV

Germany's Social Democrats nominated a new leader who said she'll lobby for a government alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel, potentially moving the country closer to ending months of political deadlock.

The coalition deal has yet to be approved by the SPD's approximately 460,000 members, whose verdict will be announced on 4 March.

Mrs Merkel faces growing internal dissent over her decision to give the post of finance minister to Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat (SPD), during hard coalition talks last week. Merkel would give the CDU a "clear signal towards personnel renewal ahead of the party conference", he said.

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THERESA May is set to fly to Berlin for crunch talks with Angela Merkel this week as she tries to exploit division among European Union countries on Brexit with a weakened German leader. Should the SPD vote fail, Germany could be headed for new elections.

Andrea Nahles poised to take over as as SPD leader after resignation of Martin Schulz. Protocol would have dictated that a deputy leader step in as interim chairman.

In the clearest sign yet that Germany wants to soften its insistence on strict fiscal discipline in the Eurozone, Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who is expected to replace Wolfgang Schaeuble as the country's new finance minister, has said that Germany should not dictate economic policies to its partners, Reuters reported. He reaffirmed that he won't seek a post in Merkel's cabinet.

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Scholz and Nahles thanked Schulz for his leadership of the party.

She insisted that she would remain party leader and complete her full four-year term as chancellor. "But it shows that the party is divided, and the chances that the vote is turning against a grand coalition has increased".

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