Youth wing's member drive irks German Social Democrat chiefs

The leadership of Germany's Social Democrats has reacted with annoyance to efforts by the party's youth wing to recruit new, short-term members in a bid to scuttle a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc.

The Young Socialists and the left wing of the party launched a campaign Monday offering two months' membership for 10 euros ($12.25) and expressly urged new recruits to oppose a possible renewal of the "grand coalition."

According to German news agency dpa, the party registered 1,700 news members within the first day of the membership drive.

The party's secretary-general, Lars Klingbeil, told public broadcaster rbb-Inforadio on Wednesday that he welcomed new members but it would be wrong to let people join only for the purpose of voting against a coalition deal.