Andrea Nahles: SPD leader and Merkel coalition partner to resign

Nigel Farage gives a thumbs-up gesture after casting his vote in Biggin Hill Thursday

Nigel Farage gives a thumbs-up gesture after casting his vote in Biggin Hill Thursday

Nahles said she will be stepping down from her post as chairwoman of the Social Democrats and leader of its parliamentary faction, to ensure that her successors are found "in an orderly fashion".

Andreas Nahles said in a statement: "The discussions in the parliamentary group and the broad feedback from the party showed me that the support necessary for the exercise of my offices is no longer there".

Andrea Nahles, leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaves after a news conference following the European Parliament election results, in Berlin, Germany, May 27, 2019.

Germany's Greens have overtaken the conservatives to become the most popular party in Germany, an opinion poll on Saturday showed, with SPD support hitting an all-time low.

Instead, many have turned to the environmentalist Greens, the far-right anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, the socialist Left party or Merkel's increasingly centrist Union bloc in recent years.

Huge cruise ship plows into tourist boat, dock in Venice
The towering, out-of-control cruise ship rammed into a dock and a tourist river boat on a busy Venice canal on Sunday morning. The collision happened at about 8:30 a.m. on the Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to Saint Mark's Square.

In response to her resignation, the leadership of the CDU called for the continuation of the coalition between their party and the SPD - known as the grand coalition.

If the SPD were to quit the coalition, the fall of the government would be likely to trigger fresh elections.

Merkel, who handed the leadership of her Christian Democratic Union party to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in December, has said she wants to stay on as chancellor until her fourth term ends when Germany holds its next national election in late 2021.

But the left wing of the SPD have been urging the party to leave the coalition since it entered into government with Ms Merkel a year ago. They say that compromising with conservatives has been losing them support.

"I am very sure that it would not be justifiable for us to have a fifth grand coalition", Scholz told the German paper in an interview published on Sunday before Nahles announced she would resign.

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