The New Cabinet of the German Government Begins Work Today
Angela Merkel will be formally elected chancellor of Germany by parliament on Wednesday, the fourth time she will lead the government since 2005. If she sees out a full term, Ms Merkel will have spent 16 years in office, equalling the record set by Helmut Kohl between 1982 and 1998.
Once again, Ms Merkel will preside over a so-called grand coalition between her conservative Christian Democrat Union/Christian Social Union and the centre-left Social Democrats. The alliance was sealed last month, ending a protracted period of uncertainty and drift brought about by the inconclusive general election in September. Both the CDU/CSU bloc and the SPD have tried to fill the cabinet with fresh faces, mindful of the need to signal renewal to voters and party members.
Only one minister — Ursula von der Leyen, in charge of defence — will be in the same job as before. She is one of a handful of political veterans who made it into government, along with Horst Seehofer as interior minister and Olaf Scholz in finance. The following men and women will help shape German policy in the years ahead.
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