German SPD counts coalition votes

Party members to decide on coalition with Merkel

Germany’s Social Democrats will count hundreds of thousands of votes from party members to determine if the rank-and-file will accept a coalition with Merkel.

The votes will be counted overnight and determine if the grand coalition negotiated over the past four months will take place.

Party leaders have endorsed it but members have been lukewarm. Polls show only about 55% in favor.

A rejection «would be a disaster for Germany, the SPD and, above all, for Europe,» SPD lawmaker Thomas Oppermann told Die Welt newspaper.

All the focus is on Italy this weekend but a failure of the German coalition is probably a bigger risk and one that would hit the euro harder.

More at Reuters.

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