Germany’s Social Democrats appear to have come up with a winner in the form of Matthias Platzeck. He has been given a unanimous backing by the SPD executive for his nomination to run for party chairman.
If confirmed by the party congress in November, Platzeck will replace the vetran Franz Muentefering who, three days ago, shocked his centre-left party by announcing his resignation from the post. Platzeck’s nomination is seen as a unifyng force and solves one problem as the SPD and the Christian democrats continue their quest to form a grand coalition. Muentefering’s departure had thrown those coalition plans into disarray as it prompted another veteran, the conservative Edmund Stoiber, to renounce his plans to serve as economy minister. Stoiber has been fiercely criticised in the German press for his withdrawal which they claim has added to the so-called “grand confusion”.