New German government will not alter Brexit policy, official says

15 February, 2018, 09:24 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Credit Reuters  Francois Lenoir

German Chancellor and Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Angela Merkel's commitment to personnel changes in her party was met with mixed reactions on Monday.

Party leaders unanimously backed parliamentary caucus leader Andrea Nahles, 47, as chairwoman on Tuesday, buying time as they seek to quell a grass-roots revolt ahead of a membership vote on a coalition pact agreed with Merkel last week.

Angela Merkel's conservative alliance took a drubbing in last year's election where the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) made big gains, ending up in third place on the strength of popular discontent about her decision to open the country's doors to over a million migrants.

BERLIN-Germany is getting another grand coalition. SPD members could still scuttle the deal, though.

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Seeking to end the infighting, chairman Martin Schulz said Tuesday that he was resigning effective immediately. Protocol would have dictated that a deputy leader step in as interim chairman.

Scholz is widely expected to become finance minister and vice chancellor in the new government if the coalition agreement is approved. The socialdemocrats will take the reibns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that of Finance; Justice and Protection of consumers; Labor and Social Affairs; Environment, Protection of Nature and Nuclear Security, as well as the one that groups Family, Third Age, Women and Youth.

Scholz and Nahles thanked Schulz for his leadership of the party. She modified her image as a socialist rabble-rouser while serving in Merkel's cabinet over the past four years. "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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