The SPD’s rank and file could block a new German grand coalition

BUNDLED up in woolly jumpers and scarves, the mostly grey-haired crowd filed into the civic centre in Schauenburg, a small central German town, toasted the new year with foaming glasses of beer and exchanged genial gossip. It was hard to believe that they might hold the fate of the world’s most powerful woman in their hands. But they might indeed. Like their comrades across the federal republic, these ordinary members of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have the final say on whether to give Angela Merkel a new majority to govern. And they were sceptical.

Timon Gremmels, the party’s local MP, took to the stage to try to sell the deal. “Clearly, mistakes were made during the campaign,” he conceded; a nod to the party’s record-low 20.5% score at the election in September. He also regretted the meagre substance of a preliminary coalition blueprint agreed on January 12th between SPD leaders, Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Christian Social Union (CSU)…Continue reading
Source: Europe Economic News