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11 February 2018, 05:16 | Kara Nash
Meet the Social Democrat poised to run Merkel's finance ministry
But Ms. Merkel's camp was also forced to defend a deal that sees the conservatives cede the crucial Finance Minister post in exchange for a fourth term in office for her.
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.
But in the end it appears it was the party leadership's fears that the row over Mr Schulz could lose them the vote on the coalition deal that finished him off. Michael Groschek, the head of the party's biggest regional association, is said to have been given the task of telling Mr Schulz he had to go.
He is not the only one feeling let down by the results of party leaders' days-long negotiating marathon earlier this week.
Many Social Democrats have blamed their poor showing on the party's membership in the previous "grand coalition".
Prospective German Foreign Minister Martin Schulz has announced that he will not take up a ministerial post in the next coalition government.
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It was Schulz's second major U-turn since the September elections that ground the storied centre-left party down to just 20.5% of the vote.
SPD leader Martin Schulz drew strong criticism in the party after he announced on Wednesday that he would resign as SPD chairman to become foreign minister, after promising before the election that he would not serve in a Merkel-led government.
"I hereby renounce joining the federal government and at the same time implore that this should be an end to debates about personalities" within the SPD, Schulz said in a statement. Schulz had suggested his successor should be parliamentary group chief Andrea Nahles, according to German media.
Merkel faced an uphill struggle to maintain power for another four years following a disastrous election campaign.
Schulz's retreat is also far from certain to ensure approval in the upcoming postal ballot of some 460,000 Social Democrats, and will do nothing to quiet grumbling among Merkel's troops over the coalition deal.
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