Merkel defends coalition deal on German TV

Merkel defends coalition deal on German TV

Merkel defends coalition deal on German TV

Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats managed to reach a coalition agreement after the chancellor's attempt to forge an unorthodox "Jamaica" coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats and the Green party collapsed last December.

"She speaks the language of the party base and is therefore the right person to pitch the grand coalition", said Carsten Nickel, a Brussels-based analyst at Teneo Intelligence.

Merkel, after more than 12 years in power in which she became Europe's go-to leader, is now widely held to be in the twilight phase of her political tenure, although she has not yet been openly challenged.

"The SPD can build on it if the membership of the party gives us the mandate to enter government", he said.

The SPD will now put a coalition deal to its 460,000 members for a vote later this month, with results due on March 4. Protocol would have dictated that a deputy leader step in as interim chairman.

Angela Merkel says that the "painful concessions" she made to the Social Democrats (SPD) to secure another term in office were fully justified and do not mean that her authority is on the wane, The Guardian wrote.

Andrea Nahles poised to take over as as SPD leader after resignation of Martin Schulz. He reaffirmed that he won't seek a post in Merkel's cabinet. Schulz on Wednesday renounced the party leadership to snatch the foreign minister's post from Gabriel, then, after an outcry, gave up the top diplomat's post too.

"The SPD needs an organizational, programmatic and personnel renewal, and I wanted to facilitate that", Schulz told reporters in Berlin in announcing his retreat. She was head of the youth arm in the 1990s and emerged as one of the most prominent representatives of the Social Democrat's powerful left wing, vocally opposing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's controversial labor reforms.

Two sources in the SPD leadership said the party decided not to make Ms Nahles a caretaker leader because it did not want to pre-empt a vote at the party congress and so possibly influence the members' vote on a coalition. "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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