The New Cabinet under the Leadership of Chancellor Merkel (November 24, 2005)
In 2005, Germany’s two large mainstream parties, the CDU/CSU and the SPD, formed a grand coalition for the second time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany (the first time being from 1966 to 1969). CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel (5th from the front, left side of the table) was chancellor, and the CDU also provided the head of the chancellor’s office, the federal interior minister, and the federal ministers of defense, economic affairs, education and research, family affairs, as well as food, agriculture, and consumer protection. The defeated chancellor Schröder resigned and SPD chairman Franz Müntefering (4th from front, left side of table), who had led the coalition negotiations, became vice chancellor and minister of labor and social affairs. Frank-Walter Steinmeier (3rd from front, left side of the table), previously head of the chancellor's office under Schröder, was named foreign minister. The SPD also provided the ministers of finance, justice, health, environment, transportation, as well as economic cooperation and development. Merkel’s rather reserved, deliberative leadership style as chancellor was well suited to forging the compromises required in the grand coalition, but some critics interpreted it as a weakness. The photo shows the new cabinet at a meeting in the chancellor’s office. Photo: Johannes Eisele.
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