Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have reluctantly voted to approve a coalition with their arch rivals the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).
The low turn out of party members gave their support after the chancellor argued that despite compromises which included a minimum wage, the deal was acceptable.
“With this programme,” she said, “there has to be the possibility of saying yes, because there is a good chance that Germany and the people in Germany will be better off in 2017.”
However, the SPD has yet to give its seal of approval and following Saturday’s rejection of it by its youth wing, that is not expected to be as clear cut as once thought.
Since Merkel fell short of a majority in last Septembers election, talks with the SPD have been tortuous. The results of their postal vote are due on December 15.