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Germanys new government: whos who in the grand coalition?

Almost three months after the elections and following the approval of members of the Social Democrats (SPD), Germany has a new government.

Ministers in the ‘grand coalition’ of the Christian Democrats (CDU, with their Bavarian Christian Social Union partners, CSU) and Social Democrats are expected to be sworn in before Christmas.

Angela Merkel (CDU) continues as Chancellor for a third term. However, the SPD succeeded in claiming important ministries and is widely seen as the winner of the negotiations.

Click to read our guide to the new German government

The SPD leader, Sigmar Gabriel who now becomes Germany’s Vice-Chancellor will lead the Ministry of Economics and Energy. He will manage Germany’s ’energy transition’, one of the biggest projects of the new government with significant impact on economy and industry.

Andrea Nahles (SPD) takes a key role as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. She will oversee the introduction of a federal minimum wage, and changes in employment and social policy will clearly bear a social-democratic mark.

However, the CDU keeps a majority of key portfolios. Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) will become the first female Minister of Defence in Germany, and this presents a big opportunity for her to position herself as the successor to Angela Merkel.

A surprising move was the inclusion of consumer protection in the justice department (under an SPD minister, Heiko Maas). There is likely to be a move towards stronger civil and consumer rights.

Another surprising change came at the Ministry for Transport (under Alexander Dobrindt, CSU), which now has responsibility for broadband infrastructure.