Germany coalition: SPD's Schulz gives up cabinet role to save deal

Germany coalition: SPD's Schulz gives up cabinet role to save deal

Germany coalition: SPD's Schulz gives up cabinet role to save deal

Social Democrats from Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin, and Saxony-Anhalt have hinted that any one of Schulz' six former deputies could become the next SPD leader.

Last week, Schulz said he would quit to allow the party to regroup and recommended the SPD's parliamentary group leader and former Labor Minister Andrea Nahles as leader. However, SPD members have to vote on the change on 22 April. The SPD is in a hard situation after its support fell to historically low levels after September's parliamentary elections.

Nahles is expected to replace Schulz after the latter was forced to give up his plans to become foreign minister in a newly formed coalition with Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) after he came under heavy internal pressure last Friday. A vote against could sweep away the current generation of leaders and trigger new elections, unsettling partners in Europe and beyond.

German Foreign Minister Gabriel lashed out at Martin Schulz, saying his party colleague had broken a promise not to serve in Chancellor Angela Merkel's new cabinet.

"I will defend the idea of joining the big coalition, I will do all it takes to achieve this, "said Nahles, whose party, however, disagrees about joining a new large coalition of conservatives".

Most analysts believe that the SPD's 463,000 members will endorse the coalition deal, given that pensioners, working class families and other core SPD constituencies stand to benefit from it.

Valentine's Day 2018 spending to approach record high, retail group says
For now, get shopping for your loved one to ensure their Valentine's Day is as romantic and rosy as these red flowers. At Blooming Rose, the Valentine's Day flower shipments started arriving at the end of the week.

On Tuesday, Martin Schulz said he hoped his decision to resign would result in party members focusing on the coalition treaty rather than personnel issues. And members of the SPD could yet reject the coalition deal in a ballot whose results will be announced on 4 March. "No more indiscipline in the SPD", said Ralf Stegner, the regional SPD leader in Schleswig-Holstein.

Tensions are also reported between him and Sigmar Gabriel, an SPD colleague who is now foreign minister.

That leaves open who from within the SPD may take up that post.

Nahles said she would start campaigning at the weekend for members to vote "yes" to a coalition with Merkel, who has led the European Union's most populous country and economic powerhouse since 2005. Support for Merkel's bloc slumped to 29.5 percent in an INSA poll of 2,608 people taken February 9-12, from the 32.9 percent of the votes it got in the September 24 federal election.

The SPD originally wanted to reinvent itself in opposition but reconsidered when Merkel's attempt to form an alliance with two smaller parties failed late past year.

Related news