Signing of the Coalition Agreement (November 18, 2005)
On November 11, 2005, representatives of the SPD and the CDU/CSU met in the Paul Löbe House in Berlin to sign a coalition agreement entitled “Working together for Germany: With Courage and Compassion.” Franz Müntefering (1st from left) was named vice chancellor and federal minister of economics and labor, but he withdrew from the cabinet for family reasons in November 2007. Elke Ferner (2nd from right) became chairwoman of the Working Group of Social Democratic Women [Arbeitsgemeinschaft sozialdemokratischer Frauen]. Brandenburg minister-president Matthias Platzeck (3rd from left) succeeded Müntefering as SPD chair in November 2005 but stepped down for health reasons in April 2006. Angela Merkel, CDU chair and head of the CDU Bundestag faction (3rd from left), was elected the first female chancellor on November 22, 2005. During the negotiations on the Grand Coalition, Bavarian minister-president Edmund Stoiber (2nd from left) had announced his intention to move to Berlin and serve as “super minister” for economics and technology, but he ultimately decided to stay in Bavaria. As a result, the leader of the CSU regional group, Michael Glos (right), was appointed economics minister. Photo: Guido Bergmann.