CSU to approve rubber-stamp German coalition deal

German industry

German industry

Now-former SPD leader Mr Schulz looks set to become foreign minister. Its results will be announced on March 4.

"I hereby declare my renunciation of joining the federal government and at the same time sincerely hope that this will end the personnel debates within the SPD", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats sealed a deal on a new coalition on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), potentially ending four months of political deadlock in Europe's top economy. In the end, Schulz presided over the SPD's worst result since the end of the second world war.

Over the past few weeks of coalition talks, Schulz emerged as a canny negotiator, however, using his seemingly weak position to claim the finance, foreign and labour ministries for his party.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and Germany's main center-left party are still haggling over a deal to form a new coalition government after negotiations that lasted through the night.

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Schulz, 62, will also step down as party chairman, and his likely, 47-year-old successor, Andrea Nahles, said the party would now focus on policy content ahead of the ballot.

The breakthrough will come as a relief to Germany's European Union partners as the bloc faces tough negotiations on migration and Brexit.

Neither Merkel's CDU nor the SPD wanted this deal; both view a coalition agreement as harmful to their long-term interests.

Kuehnert, 28, is travelling around Germany urging members to vote against the deal.

CDU members are smarting at having to cede the vital Finance Ministry to the SPD.

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On Wednesday, Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and its partner, the Christian Social Union, reached an agreement with the Social Democratic Party, the second largest force in the parliament.

"What's left is regret at how little respect there is in the Social Democratic Party in our dealings with one another, and how little someone's word counts for", Gabriel told the Funke newspaper group.

Peter Hauk, agriculture minister in the wealthy southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, said Merkel should enable a handover of power within the current four-year legislative period.

The coalition agreement between the Social Democrats and Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc is still subject to approval from the SPD's around 460,000 members.

Faced with snap elections that could further boost the AfD or the prospect of heading an unstable minority government, she opted to woo back the SPD - her junior partner for two of her three terms since 2005.

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