Merkel’s CDU to approve a coalition deal with SPD after new cabinet picks

Vastavam web: Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) meet on Monday to approve a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), a move that will take their leader, Angela Merkel, a step closer to a fourth term as chancellor in Europe’s biggest economy.The last major hurdle to end a five-month political impasse after a Sept. 24 election, however, comes next week. On March 4, the results of a postal vote by SPD members vote will be announced, and that result is far less certain.

The conference will also vote on the appointment of her close ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as CDU general secretary, who is widely seen as her preferred successor. Dubbed “mini-Merkel” by some media, the Saarland state premier, 55, shares many of Merkel’s views – but not all.Her Catholic, western German background contrasts with Merkel’s Protestant, eastern roots. While socially conservative, known for opposing gay marriage, Kramp-Karrenbauer is a strong supporter of the minimum wage and worker rights.In a bid to silence critics who want the CDU to shift to the right to win back voters from the AfD, Merkel said she would promote her most outspoken critic, 37-year-old Jens Spahn, to the cabinet.

She said she had carefully chosen a younger team who could bring energy to the job and revive the party’s mood.This forced her to woo the SPD, a reluctant partner, which had seen its own support fall to its lowest since World War Two.If SPD members vote “no” in their ballot, the most likely outcome is a new election or possibly a minority government.