CSU to approve rubber-stamp German coalition deal

CSU to approve rubber-stamp German coalition deal

CSU to approve rubber-stamp German coalition deal

The decision was welcomed by Brussels, but before a new cabinet is set, the agreement will be approved by the members of the Social Democratic Party.

Nahles' first major test is likely to come in the coming weeks when she has to sell the SPD's new coalition agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives to the party's reluctant membership, who are to vote on the deal by March 2. But it comes at a price for her - several key ministries have gone to her coalition partners.

Merkel's fate now lies in the hands of the SPD, as Schulz has promised to give his party's 460,000 members the final say on whether to accept the coalition pact.

Horst Seehofer, a critic of Merkel's refugee policy, gains control of the issue as interior minister.

Schulz responded by abandoning his post-election vow to renew the party in opposition- a U-turn that angered many.

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Merkel, who leads the Christian Democrats (CDU), ceded the powerful finance ministry to the SPD in a coalition deal finally agreed on Wednesday, more than four months after a national election last September in which both blocs lost support.

The party also secured the foreign and labour ministries as part of the deal, Bild has reported.

Meanwhile the finance job could go to the popular mayor of northern port city Hamburg, pro-business centrist Olaf Scholz, often eyed as a potential SPD chancellor candidate.

Four years ago, the majority of the party's rank and file were on board with joining Merkel's government. A campaign is underway inside the SPD, led by its youth wing, to block another grand coalition.

A thumbs-down could see the country headed for fresh elections or leave Merkel at the helm of an unstable minority government-a prospect she has baulked at. The results from that are due in early March, and that vote is now looking too close to call either way.

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