Merkel cabinet complete as SPD claims key finance, foreign ministries

Unrest is brewing in Chancellor Angela Merkel's party after she gave up key cabinet posts as the price of holding onto power

Merkel cabinet complete as SPD claims key finance, foreign ministries

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday that he will not be a minister in the country's new government.

Gabriel's political future has been the subject of widespread speculation in German media after he publicly accused the party leadership of breaking a promise by originally planning to hand his current ministerial post to Martin Schulz in a new federal government.

Gabriel, from Merkel's coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD), had been expected to lose his post after tense relations with Andrea Nahles, his party's new leader.

On Sunday, SPD agreed to form a coalition with Merkel's bloc of CDU/CSU, with 66 percent of SPD's members voted in favor of the grand coalition.

This has forced them, after six months of torturous negotiations involving multiple parties, into another unhappy marriage of convenience dubbed a grand coalition or "GroKo".

But unrest is brewing within her party following a historically poor election result and Merkel's decision to give up key cabinet posts as the price of holding onto power.

Former Hamburg mayor and acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz will take over the finance ministry and become vice chancellor, the party leadership confirmed at party headquarters in Berlin on Friday. Barbara Hendricks, SPD environment minister in the outgoing coalition, has said she will leave office.

Nahles then introduced incoming foreign minister Maas, 51, praising his "endurance" as a triathlete and the "diplomatic finesse, backbone and clear stance against racism" he had shown as justice minister.

The rest are new faces, including that of a prominent critic towards line of Chancellor and representative of most right wing of CDU, Jens Spahn, who will occupy portfolio of health.

Among six ministries that correspond to Merkel's CDU, only two will be occupied by politicians with experience as ministers - Ursula von der Leyen, in defense, and Peter Altmaier, who passes from Chancellor of chancellery to occupy economy -. Among three ministries of CSU highlights Interior, which will be for so far leader of Bavarian training and regional Prime Minister Horst Seehofer.

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