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

German Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz confirmed on Friday he would not take up the position of foreign minister or serve in the next government, seeking to end a party row over his role and shore up members" support for a new "grand coalition'.

Schulz managed this week to clinch a coalition deal with Merkel's CDU/CSU that gave his centre-left SPD six ministries as well as securing a string of policy concessions.

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

"Angela Merkel has succeeded, she will remain chancellor if the SPD members vote for the coalition deal".

"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. In addition to the controversy over Schulz, Merkel herself has been under fire for giving key ministries to the SPD to extend her 12-year reign over Europe's biggest economy. Many of them are skeptical after the party's disastrous election result, which followed four years of a "grand coalition" with the party serving as junior partner to Merkel's conservatives.

CDU delegates will get their own chance to vote on the coalition deal at a party congress on February 24. A party meeting in January narrowly approved talks with Merkel's Christian Democratic-led bloc, laying bare the divisions.

Another party official told a Bild: "The party is deteriorating". But the final stretch appeared to be more about horse-trading on posts, with the SPD celebrating their advances within the cabinet.

He was also facing anger over his treatment of Sigmar Gabriel, the current foreign minister and Germany's most popular politician, who had looked set to be forced out of government by Mr Schulz's decision to take the job. He also wants to create the post of European Union finance minister.

He is not the only one feeling let down by the results of party leaders' days-long negotiating marathon earlier this week.

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

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