The agreement, subject to the approval of members of the Social Democratic Party, came at a steep price for the Christian Democrats: giving up the powerful Finance Ministry.
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany agreed on a coalition deal on Wednesday with her previous governing partners, including the Social Democrats, bringing her within striking distance of forming a new government after five months of political limbo. But the pact came at a steep price for her conservative party, which gave up the powerful Finance Ministry.
Nearly half a million registered members of the center-left Social Democratic Party, many of whom oppose joining another administration led by Ms. Merkel, will get the final say; the deal is contingent on their approval in a postal vote that analysts say is too close to call. The results of the vote are expected by March 4.
The Social Democrats will occupy the vice chancellorship and six other cabinet posts, including the Finance and Foreign Ministries, an unusually strong portfolio for a junior coalition partner. The news led political analysts to agree that they had done well in negotiations with Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their sister party in Bavaria, the Christian Social Union.