Angela Merkel blasts SPD for failing to back von der Leyen | Eurasia Diary -

20 November, Wednesday

Angela Merkel blasts SPD for failing to back von der Leyen

Merkel wants German Social Democrats to stop thwarting Ursula von der Leyen's bid to lead the EU Commission. Many officials domestically and across the bloc say the defense minister's bid for the job was forced through.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the efforts by German Social Democrats (SPD) to torpedo the nomination of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to lead the European Commission. "It is not an easy situation — I want to say that emphatically — that the coalition partner is not pulling together with us here," Merkel told reported after meeting with Denmark's prime minister on Thursday.

The European Parliament votes on the nomination Tuesday. Von der Leyen has undertaken a charm offensive to win over members of the European Parliament after EU heads of state and government put her name forward in a surprise announcement last week, Deutsche Welle reports.

The defense minister would succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the EU's executive on November 1. She must secure a majority of 374 lawmakers out of the current 746 to make it over the finish line. MEPs have expressed reservations about confirming a candidate who didn't campaign in the European Parliament elections.

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