A grand coalition deal has been struck in Germany between Angela Merkel's CDU party and the SPD. Their leader, Martin Schulz has also announced that he will be stepping down from his role to join to government
After gruelling overnight talks in Germany, the leaders of the Conservative CDU party and the centre-left SPD appear to have succeeded. Angela Merkel spoke alongside her SPD counterpart, Martin Schulz, saying that a number of difficult concessions had to be made. The SPD is expected to take over the foreign, finance and labour ministries, while the Christian Democrats will take the defence and economic portfolios.
The coalition document was said to be drawn up in record time, but spanned 170 pages in length, demonstrating the tough stance the SPD must have taken against their larger party allies.
Martin Schulz has since announced that he will be stepping down as the SPD party leader, with the intention of joining the new government.
The move is likely to herald a shift in Germany's eurozone policy. The move of the finance ministry to the SPD will remove policies which have been widely despised in struggling eurozone states.
Schulz said that his party would put an end to "forced austerity" and set up an investment budget for the eurozone. Something which will surely please French president Emmanuel Macron
Merkel said the difficult coalition talks had been worth it and the government would be a stable one.
But the deal is far from being ratified yet. It could still be derailed by either party's membership. SPD party membership has surged by tens of thousands in the past few days, with campaigners calling on people to join just to vote down the grand coalition plans.
The result of these won't be known for at least three weeks, protracting the negotiations, which have already taken months.