February 25, 2018 / 5:23 PM / 4 months ago

Merkel confirms she would give arch critic job in a new German cabinet

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed on Sunday that she would promote Jens Spahn, a prominent critic from within her conservative party, to the cabinet, provided a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) goes ahead.

Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Jens Spahn during debate at the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

She also said, as expected, that long-standing ally Peter Altmaier would take over the economy ministry and that Ursula von der Leyen would remain in her post as defence minister.

Merkel has agreed a coalition deal between her conservative bloc and the Social Democrats (SPD), but the parties have to approve the deal before she can count on a fourth term. It is far from certain whether SPD members will back it.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Editing by William Maclean

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