Chancellor Merkel Introduces New German CabinetBulgaria in EU | October 24, 2009, Saturday // 18:09| views
The parliamentary elections winners CDU and FDP reached an agreement early Saturday, enabling Chancellor Merkel to announce the new German cabinet. Photo by BGNES
German Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced Saturday the new cabinet and the coalition agreement between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democrats (FDP).
The marathon negotiations concluded in the wee hours Saturday and the deal was sealed when both parties agreed on EUR 24 B in tax cuts. The agreement was signed a month after Germany’s general elections in which CDU and FDP won parliamentary majority.
In addition to the tax cuts, the coalition partners agreed on reforms in the financial and health care sectors during their four-year term and on reducing the mandatory military service from nine to six months.
Wolfgang Schaeuble, who until now was Interior Minister, would assume the Finance Minister post while FDP leader Guido Westerwelle was named Foreign Minister.
Another shuffle includes the party's Deputy Leader, Rainer Bruederle, becoming Economy Minister, replacing Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who will take over the Defense Ministry and the task of overseeing the unpopular mission in Afghanistan.
Vietnam-born Philipp Roesler, 36, who was named as Health Minister, became the youngest member of Merkel’s cabinet.