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Martin Schulz gives up promised Foreign Minister job

SPD leader hopes concession will win members back to coalition

THE leader of Germany’s Social Democrats abandoned his bid to become foreign minister today — wary of members rejecting a coalition deal with the Christian Democrats.

Martin Schulz was promised the ministry under this week’s deal for a return to “grand coalition” government,  but the agreement has still to be voted on by members, many of whom are hostile after the previous coalition led the party to its worst result since World War II in elections last September.

Mr Schulz , who immediately after the election ruled out taking a cabinet post, gave up his plan yesterday, saying: “We are all in politics for the good of the people of our country. That also means that my personal ambitions must come behind the interests of the party.”

Meanwhile, former SPD leader and current foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel complained to the Funke newspaper group about “disrespectful” behaviour in the party.

In comments published yesterday, he said Germans appear to think he had been successful, adding: “I regret that the new Social Democrat leadership didn’t care about this public appreciation of my work.”

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