Angela Merkel Criticised By Own Party Over Coalition

Katrina Barker
February 11, 2018

His withdrawal was a response to an outcry in the Social Democrats' base, with many saying Schulz, who led the party to its worst election result since World War II previous year, had broken his promise never to enter a Merkel government.

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

Two days after negotiating an agreement that gives the SPD the powerful foreign and finance ministries, Schulz said his personal ambitions must take a backseat to the party's interests.

Merkel's conservatives and the SPD agreed on Wednesday to form a coalition government but SPD members have the right to veto the deal.

Those opposed to any deal with Mrs Merkel include a new group within the SPD calling itself NoGroKo (no grand coalition). The results will be announced on March 4, according to party officials.

The move leaves the former European Parliament president empty-handed, after a disastrous year that saw him lead the SPD to its worst-ever score since World War II in September elections, with just 20.5 percent of the vote.

Merkel is anxious to get a government in place and end more than four months of political limbo that have hampered decision-making in Germany, Europe's largest economy, and caused concern among partners in the European Union who look to Berlin for leadership in facing challenges from eurozone reform to Brexit.

A Forsa poll had indicated that nearly three-quarters of Germans thought it would be wrong for Schulz to become foreign minister.

"I hereby renounce joining the federal government and at the same time implore that this should be an end to debates about personalities", Schulz said in a statement.

German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel arrives for the coalition negotiations at CDU headquarters on Tuesday.

Schulz's retreat is also far from certain to ensure approval in the upcoming postal ballot of some 460,000 Social Democrats, and will do nothing to quiet grumbling among Merkel's troops over the coalition deal.

Some commentators have suggested a mid-term review due two years into the government could offer Merkel the opportunity to step down gracefully from a job she has held since 2005.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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