Steinbrueck, who run the finance ministry during Merkel`s first term from 2005 to 2009, has won support from SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Islam has become a part of Germany and urged fellow citizens to show tolerance towards Muslims.
An Italian newspaper owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has stirred controversy by printing a front page headline that reads ``Fourth Reich`` above a picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel said after meeting Putin that they had discussed "the development of civil society" in Russia.
The total number of cars set ablaze in the capital this year stands at 159, 75 of them this month alone.
Day in Pics: 23rd September
Showbiz World - September 23, 2014
'Kill Dil'- Posters