SPD take finance ministry in German coalition deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will talk with European Council President Donald Tusk and the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, according to the Bulgarian National Television.

The smallest of the parties in Germany's prospective new government has signed off on this week's coalition deal, but bigger hurdles lie ahead.

Angela Merkel's conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) partners faced a chorus of scepticism yesterday as allies and opponents alike criticised a loveless coalition deal that some said showed the German chancellor's time was coming to an end.

Merkel admitted the debate on the division of ministries "wasn't easy" while Schulz held up the coalition deal as bearing "the strong signature of the Social Democrats".

Even so, both camps made major sacrifices to secure a deal.

"If it happens, the fourth Merkel cabinet will in some respects resemble the last cabinets of Helmut Kohl and Helmut Schmidt", wrote Kurt Kister, editor of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

The AfD's anti-immigration stance proved hugely popular with voters, winning 12.6 per cent of the vote, a result described by leading party figures as a "political earthquake". "Bravo." stand next to a bus with refugees from the Bavarian town of Landshut, after its arrival to the Chancellery building in Berlin, Germany, January 14, 2016.

Merkel's fate now lies in the hands of the SPD, as Schulz has promised to give his party's 460,000 members the final say on whether to accept the coalition pact. Mass-selling daily Bild said Merkel had sold out.

Under the coalition agreement, the SPD will retain control of the foreign, justice and labor ministries among others.

The coalition agreement includes commitments to strengthening the EU and working with France on Eurozone reform, pledging to turn the Eurozone bailout fund into a full-blown European Monetary Fund.

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