Martin Schulz: I won't be German foreign minister

Germany's Coalition Is Italy's Salvation

The lashing comes as the Chancellor promised to deliver a "stable government" after breaking four months of political deadlock to agree a coalition between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).

"At the same time, I sincerely hope that this will end the personnel debates within the own personal ambitions must be placed behind the interests of the party", Schulz said.

On Wednesday, Schulz told colleagues he planned to resign as leader of the SPD after party members have voted on the coalition deal.

Germany's Coalition Is Italy's Salvation
Martin Schulz: I won't be German foreign minister

The move by Schmidt, a conservative, effectively allowed the extension in glyphosate use within the European Union, despite opposition from France and from the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany's current government coalition.

Schulz will also step down as party leader, and his likely successor, Andrea Nahles, said the party would now focus on policy content ahead of the ballot.

News agency dpa is reporting that Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and Germany's main center-left party have reached a deal on a new coalition government.

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The job is now held by Sigmar Gabriel, who handed the party leadership to Mr Schulz a year ago and has become one of Germany's most popular politicians since taking on the role of foreign minister.

A Forsa poll had indicated that nearly three-quarters of Germans thought it would be wrong for Schulz to become foreign minister.

Asked if Sigmar Gabriel would remain foreign minister, she said party leaders would soon decide on a way forward, but their primary focus now was securing a "yes" vote from rank and file. A party meeting in January narrowly approved talks with Merkel's Christian Democratic-led bloc, laying bare the divisions.

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The result of the SPD vote is expected to be announced on 4 March, with CDU delegates also getting a chance to vote on the coalition deal at a party congress on 24 February.

But the final stretch appeared to be more about horse-trading on posts, with the SPD celebrating their advances within the cabinet.

"What's left is regret at how little respect there is in the SPD in our dealings with one another, and how little someone's word counts for", Mr Gabriel told German television in an outspoken attack on his former friend. However, three crushing state electoral defeats followed, damaging Schulz's campaign last summer irreparably.

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The draft, published on Wednesday on the homepage of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party, did not indicate a schedule for ending glyphosate use.


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