Merkel Tries to Allay Conservative Fear of 'SPD Agenda' in New Coalition

Merkel Tries to Allay Conservative Fear of 'SPD Agenda' in New Coalition

Merkel Tries to Allay Conservative Fear of 'SPD Agenda' in New Coalition

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who is expected to become finance minister, said on Saturday Germany should not dictate economic policies to its euro zone partners and that mistakes had been made in the past.

"It is clear to everyone that the chancellor is going into a last term", he told Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that she would "skillfully set in motion the succession in these four years".

"I am one of those people who sticks to what they promise", Merkel said in a TV interview with broadcaster ZDF on Sunday, cited by Politico.

News weekly Der Spiegel in a cover illustration showed a nude Merkel, with gleeful SPD figures running off with her clothes.

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Some conservatives are unhappy with her decision to allow the SPD to spend a record budget surplus and to embrace their demands for European reform.

An ambitious rival of Merkel, Jens Spahn, also charged that losing direct control of the public purse strings was a "hard blow" that "hurt" the CDU, speaking to Austrian newspaper Presse am Sonntag.

Others called for a renewal of the Christian Democrat leadership, a barely disguised push for Merkel's replacement.

Losing the finance ministry was "painful", she conceded, but she stressed that the move was "acceptable", since the alternative would have been a breakdown in talks, and likely snap elections.

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The CDU leader also said that the names of the six ministers from her party in the new government will be announced by the party congress on February 26.

Within the demoralised SPD, an even more dramatic feud has broken out into the open - between election loser Martin Schulz and his former ally turned rival Sigmar Gabriel. Both men may now watch the next government from the backbenches.

Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc reached a deal for a new government with the SPD on Wednesday, setting the stage for a fourth term as chancellor for Merkel, but the SPD's 463,000 party members must still sign off on the pact in a special ballot.

Especially the SPD's left and youth wings fiercely oppose another four years governing in Merkel's shadow.

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