Schäuble on course for second term as German finance minister

Postal vote of SDP members expected to back coalition

Wolfgang Schäuble: Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen to keep Mr Schäuble in place as finance minister and the 71-year-old has expressed his readiness to stay. Photograph: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Wolfgang Schäuble: Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen to keep Mr Schäuble in place as finance minister and the 71-year-old has expressed his readiness to stay. Photograph: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 01:00

Wolfgang Schäuble is on course for a second term as German finance minister with the Social Democratic Union (SPD) reportedly ready to forgo control of the finance ministry in a new grand coalition.

Results are expected around lunchtime today in a postal vote of SPD members, with their backing for a grand coalition considered likely. A list leaked to Der Spiegel shows SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel heading a new super ministry for economics and transition to post-nuclear energy.

Bundestag floor leader Frank Walter Steinmeier would return to the foreign ministry for a second term, according to the list, with Heiko Maas, SPD leader in Saarland, becoming justice minister. Three SPD women will reportedly join the cabinet: general secretary Andrea Nahles as labour minister; Manuela Schwesig, a state labour minister in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in welfare; and party treasurer Barbara Hendricks in environment.

Neither the SPD nor CDU would comment on the list. Chancellor Angela Merkel is keen to keep Mr Schäuble in place in finance and the 71-year-old has expressed his readiness to stay.