Merkel has now secured a grand coalition in parliament allowing the country to emerge from political paralysis.
Today, in Berlin, Angela Merkel will be renamed Chancellor for her fourth term in office. The confirmation comes ahead of German President Frank Walter-Steinmeier’s inauguration of her new ministers.
The appointment of Merkel’s term cabinet closes the loop on a hectic, half-year-long formation process of Germany’s government. Now that Merkel has secured the coalition between the CDU, SPD and CSU, the country can emerge from political paralysis and plunge fully into forming Merkel’s legacy in what is likely her final term.
Though Germans and international spectators can take a breath of relief, the coalition will not come without its challenges on key domestic and international issues. The centre-left SPD will likely push back on the conservative CSU/CDU bloc’s potential attempt to establish a quota on and benefit cuts for asylum seekers along with tax cuts for all instead of solely the lower- and middle classes. The three main parties generally agree with European integration, but Merkel will have to temper the SPD’s renewed insistence on a federal Europe. Watch for how intra-coalition disputes change the course of Merkel’s leadership in and beyond German borders.
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