Martin Schulz resigns as leader of Germany's Social Democrats

Merkel and #SPD under renewed fire over German coalition deal

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) must seize the opportunity to reform the European Union in a new governing alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the party's interim leader said on Wednesday in appealing to members to back their coalition deal.

The most urgent matter for the SPD is to get a new leader in place after Martin Schulz said last week he would quit to allow the party to regroup.

Deputy party leader of the SPD, Ralf Stegner, has said: "We need a new start".

Handing over the leadership of the SPD may not be as simple as many in the party would like as resistance to Nahles is growing.

The coalition deal signed with Merkel's conservatives could be in jeopardy as the battle for the SPD leadership continues to play out.

Schulz, a former European Parliament president, took over as SPD leader from Gabriel past year, raising hopes within the party he could stand a better chance against Merkel in the September election.

German's Social Democratic grass roots are in revolt and may veto a new government in their upcoming vote.

Israel Launches Airstrikes In Syria After Fighter Jet Crashes
In response, Israel conducted air strikes against Iranian facilities in Syria and destroyed the Iranian UAV control center. Escalation is now up to Iran, and with their hands full in Syria , it's doubtful they want to start a war with Israel .

Scholz and Nahles thanked Schulz for his leadership of the party.

Kevin Kuehnert, who leads the SPD's youth wing and is campaigning for members to vote against another tie-up with Merkel, welcomed the decision as he said it would enable the party to focus completely on the members' coalition ballot.

But Oettinger also conceded that this would be her final term as chancellor, if the new "grand coalition" goes ahead, addressing a succession debate that is starting to take hold as the CDU starts to look ahead to a post-Merkel era.

In a cartoon published on Tuesday, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily showed Nahles with a whip riding an SPD snail.

Schulz, 62, ditched plans to take the post of foreign minister after fierce criticism from some former allies, not least because he had pledged not to serve in a cabinet with Merkel.

Schulz's own plans were becoming a major distraction for the SPD.

The SPD has slid into disarray since its leaders struck the coalition deal last week, blighted by bitter divisions over whether to join the coalition, a loss of confidence in outgoing leader Martin Schulz and discontent over the succession process. The deal has potentially paved the way for Germany to finally form a government after months of political instability following the indecisive parliamentary elections in September.

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