German caretaker government will hold back on EU issues

Angela Merkel's chief of staff is indicating that the German chancellor's caretaker government won't take decisions that could bind its successor's hands on "major political questions," including French President Emmanuel Macron's European reform proposals.

Altmaier, also the acting finance minister, told Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the "constructive restraint" applies to "all European questions."

Altmaier added that Berlin's position on Brexit won't be affected. He said: "In the Brexit negotiations, we are acting within the framework of the European Union's approved negotiating mandate and on the basis of a broad political consensus in parliament."

Germany's politicians are struggling to form a new administration after September's election. Merkel's outgoing Cabinet remains on a caretaker basis.