After months of negotiations to create a grand coalition, Angela Merkel was sworn in by Parliament on Tuesday to serve a third term as chancellor.
“Her confirmation as chancellor in a vote by lawmakers in the Bundestag on Tuesday was virtually assured after her Christian Democratic Union, or CDU, came in first place by a wide margin when Germans went to the polls in September. But the party fell just short of a majority of seats in the Bundestag, touching off weeks of negotiation with other groups to form a government.
“Merkel will preside over a ‘grand coalition’ uniting the conservative CDU with its archrival, the center-left Social Democrats, who finished second in the election. The two parties agreed on an agenda that should see a continuation of Merkel’s tax-friendly policies tempered by some concessions to the Social Democrats, including Germany’s first national minimum wage and some pension increases.”
The Christian Science Monitor reports that despite the fact that Merkel will be governing along with her rivals therefore making her government more left-leaning, significant change is not expected when it comes to eurozone.
“Merkel did have to concede on some issues: Most notably, the CDU accepted a national minimum national wage, set at 8.5 euros ($11.70), which was the major policy platform of the SPD,” the Monitor reports. “But in reality, almost nothing will change, including Germany’s tough policies in Europe on fiscal discipline. Notably, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will remain in the government.”
Merkel was elected for a four-year term.