German Finance Minister Wants to Stay Despite Failed Party Bid

Birgit Jennen and Arne Delfs

(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has said he wants to remain in office even after he lost a bid to lead his Social Democratic party.

“As you can see I very much enjoy what I’m doing. So, yes,” Scholz said during an event in Berlin when asked if he will stay on the job.

The SPD confirmed a duo of leftist leaders at its party convention last weekend who want to seek a series of concessions from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc, including increased spending. If that fails, the government could come to a premature end.

Scholz, a 61-year-old trained labor lawyer, has stood his ground in defense of the government’s balanced budget policy amid growing pressure for more spending to help reverse an economic downturn.

In an ARD television poll last week Scholz was tied with Merkel as the most popular politician in Germany, each with approval ratings of 47%.

Earlier on Tuesday, Alexander Dobrindt, leader of the allied CSU party, said he expected Scholz to remain in office.

“Before Christmas we don’t expect an end to this coalition,” said Dobrindt.

To contact the reporters on this story: Birgit Jennen in Berlin at bjennen1@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Raymond Colitt

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