German Chancellor Angela Merkel to appoint key party critic to cabinet

Lester Mason
February 26, 2018

In a further blow, she failed to agree on a coalition deal with two smaller parties, forcing her to turn to the Social Democrats with whom she had shared power from 2013 to 2017.

A party congress is being held Monday to sign off on the coalition agreement, which will still need approval from the Social Democrats' members to take effect.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday pressed European member states to do their share in helping to deal with the large influx of migrants, work together to strengthen external borders and fight the problems causing people to flee their homelands.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is tipped to name conservative Jens Spahn as health minister in her new cabinet today.

"He will certainly be a good health minister".

Spahn has talked tough on Germany's approach to integrating immigrants.

A reluctant partner, having seen support fall to its lowest since World War Two, the SPD announces the result of a postal ballot of members on March 4. Spahn is a champion of the party's right who has fiercely attacked her open-door policy on immigration.

There was considerable speculation over whether Merkel, 63, would promote or ignore Spahn, now a deputy finance minister.

Other CDU ministers are new faces.

The appointment of Mr Spahn highlights how Germany has moved towards a more hawkish immigration policy following gains by the far-right in elections a year ago.

Merkel pointed to Spahn's past experience in health policy and said that, as a younger conservative, he's well-placed to lead a ministry that is "of the greatest significance for cohesion in society, for fairness between generations". It also reported that senior CDU figure Julia Kloeckner will take over as agriculture minister.

She also said, as expected, that long-standing ally Peter Altmaier would take over the economy ministry and that Ursula von der Leyen would remain in her post as defence minister. That means the CDU ministerial team has equal numbers of men and women, which Merkel said is "a signal I am very glad of".

Although she has agreed a deal with the leaders of the Social Democrats (SPD) for a new "grand coalition", Merkel needs the blessing of both camps to be sure of a fourth term. However, Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer is to become interior minister.

If members vote "no" to the deal, the most likely outcome is a new election or possibly a minority government.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article