German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, right, Defence Minister and chairwoman of the German Christian Democratic Union CDU, shake hands as they arrive for a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Germany: Merkel’s party rejects full overhaul of coalition

December 02, 2019 - 3:49 am

BERLIN (AP) — The leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is rejecting a radical renegotiation of the agreement underpinning Germany’s governing coalition after its junior partner elected left-leaning leaders who want new concessions.

Members of the center-left Social Democrats on Saturday chose Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken as their new leaders, rejecting a rival duo that included Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz and strongly favored staying in Merkel’s coalition.

Walter-Borjans and Esken are more skeptical. They want to revisit issues such as the minimum wage, climate protection and investment, though it’s unclear how far their demands will go.

The leader of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democratic Union, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, told ZDF television Monday the new leadership change doesn’t amount to a major change “as a result of which we have to completely renegotiate a coalition.”

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