German SPD deputy denies rumours that Gabriel to step down as leader

BERLIN May 8 The leader of Chancellor Angela
Merkel’s junior coalition partner, Sigmar Gabriel, does not plan
to step down as leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) this week,
deputy party chairman Ralf Stegner said on Sunday.

He was responding to rumours in German media after Helmut
Markwort, co-publisher of German magazine Focus, told a German
television programme that Gabriel planned to step down this
week.

“Mr Markwort has presumably had too much sun in Munich,”
Stegner told Reuters.


Gabriel who is Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister,
cancelled a trip to Iran last week due to illness. The SPD had a
weak showing in recent regional elections. An opinion poll for
Bild am Sonntag put support for the party on 22 percent.

(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Caroline Copley;
Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Source URL:http://www.reuters.com/article/germany-politics-gabriel-idUSL5N185095

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