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Many in his party are angry he wanted the foreign minister position

11 February 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) are seeking to revive the "grand coalition" alliance that has governed Germany for the past four years.

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) chairman Martin Schulz announced on Friday that he would not pursue ministerial post in the next German government, including the foreign minister.

He is not the only one feeling let down by the results of party leaders' days-long negotiating marathon earlier this week.

Merkel, who will secure a fourth term as chancellor if the coalition deal holds, has also come under fire from some in her own camp who say she has made too many concessions to the SPD, including handing it control of the powerful finance ministry.

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A Forsa poll had indicated that nearly three-quarters of Germans thought it would be wrong for Schulz to become foreign minister.

"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.

Last September, the Social Democrats suffered their worst election result in decades, but remained the second-largest party in parliament.

SPD party members still smarting over his decision to renew the loveless "grand coalition" despite initially pledging to take the SPD into opposition.

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For the SPD, the backbiting went public when Gabriel, Germany's acting foreign minister, attacked the leadership for planning to remove him from his post - and implying that he'd been promised that he could continue as the country's top diplomat.

The SPD's traditional left-wing youth organization, Jusos, have opposed a coalition government with the Christian Democrats, and called for reform within the party.

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.

The agreement promises an unusual half-time review after two years, when the parties will reassess the coalition - already being seen as a possible opportunity for Ms. Merkel finally to step down.

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Many in his party are angry he wanted the foreign minister position