Day By Day

Monday, October 10, 2005

Angie, Angie, Angie! Germany Gets a Chancellor

So Germany has a Chancellor. Good! And it's Angie! Better! And the government will be divided between the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, ensuring that the extremists will be marginalized. Excellent!!!

Der Spiegel reports:

Germany's federal elections, which have been in a state of suspended animation since the country went to the polls on Sept. 18, came to an unofficial end on Monday as the country's main political parties finally agreed to a chancellor....

The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats on Monday announced a deal to form a coalition government that paves the way for conservative leader Angela Merkel to become the country's first female chancellor. The executive boards of both parties, traditionally opponents, agreed on Monday to form a "grand coalition" with an even number of cabinet postings for the Christian and Social Democrats.
Monday's deal means that the Christian Democrats -- comprised of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union -- will be entitled to appoint the chancellor, the pivotal chancellery minister, who coordinates the ministries and legislation, as well as control over six ministries. They will control the economics, interior, defense, family, education and research and agriculture and consumer protection ministries.

Meanwhile, the Social Democrats will gain a portfolio of eight ministries: foreign affairs, finance, justice, development, labor, health, transportation and environment.

The parties reported that they have already reached agreements on some policy areas, including an income tax reform and a pledge to invest at least 3 percent of Germany's gross domestic product into research and development annually by 2010.

Read the whole thing here.

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