Merkel under fire from own ranks over German coalition deal

Martin Schulz | Omer Messinger  EPA

Martin Schulz | Omer Messinger EPA

After weeks of talks, German leader Angela Merkel reached an agreement Wednesday with the Social Democrat Party - which would structure the Berlin government and keeps the chancellor in office for four more years. Merkel has managed to put together a governing coalition with Germany's Social Democrats several months after the country's election.

After a failed attempt to forge an untried alliance with two smaller parties, Merkel opted to woo back the reluctant SPD-her junior partner for two of her three terms since 2005.

The SPD leader, Martin Schulz, faces a struggle to convince the more militant factions within his party, including its youth wing known as "Jusos", to enter into a coalition with the centre-right ruling party.

"This government could be captioned "Won't last long", wrote Kurt Kister, editor of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Her next step up the party ladder came in September past year when she was appointed SPD parliamentary leader, just weeks after the party's election result sunk to a mere 20.5% - its lowest level since modern Germany was founded. It remains to be seen if they will be persuaded by his response that the SPD will control top ministries including finance, foreign affairs and labor.

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. The mass-selling daily Bild said Merkel had sold out.

In a Europe that's been riven by the issue of mass immigration and the rise of right-wing populist leaders, the potential German coalition was greeted with approval by others on the continent.

The coalition agreement includes commitments to strengthening the EU and working with France on Eurozone reform, pledging to turn the Eurozone bailout fund into a full-blown European Monetary Fund.

Latest News