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Scholz to become Germany’s next chancellor,Merkel set to hand off power

Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals are set to present their coalition agreement  after reaching a deal on forming a new government – with Olaf Scholz succeeding Angela Merkel as the country’s new chancellor.  However, the new government won’t be sworn in until early next month at the Bundestag. It comes after almost two months of negotiations between the parties following national elections on 26 September that were narrowly won by the Social Democrats. The elections also marked a result Merkel would rather forget after her Christian Democrats party received its worst-ever result.The parties’ agreement paves the way for the finance minister Olaf Scholz to take the reins from Merkel following her four terms in government. Scholz, who became finance minister in 2018, has won praise for his handling of the country’s economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, taking on huge amounts of debt to help businesses stay afloat during the crisis. It was also regarded as one of Europe’s most generous emergency aid programmes.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel is wrapping up a historic 16 years in power with a mixed legacy at home and abroad. In office so long she was dubbed Germany's "eternal chancellor", Merkel leaves with her popularity so resilient she would likely have won a record fifth term had she sought it. Her supporters say she provided steady leadership through countless global crises as a moderate and unifying figure. he leaves behind a fractured political landscape, with her own CDU party divided as it struggles to emerge from her long shadow.

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