Angela Merkel elected 4th time German Chancellor

2018 Ferdinand Ostrop  AP      
                                               Stefan Meister

He said he attaches great importance to the development of the China-Germany relationship and is willing to work with Merkel to consolidate and boost mutual strategic trust, lift ties to a new level and achieve greater progress.

He said that "these are testing years for democracy", with an "everyone against everyone else" mentality spreading in world politics - "right now in trade policy".

"The expectations of our friends and partners are huge, particularly in Europe", Steinmeier said.

While not exactly the "fire and fury" language often used in US politics, many in Germany saw the statement as a lecture on core Western values and a strong rebuke for an incoming USA president.

Angela Merkel has been sworn in for her fourth term as German chancellor.

"You have all of my best wishes for the arduous path ahead", Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble told Merkel after administering the oath of office.

Merkel, chancellor since 2005 and the EU's longest-serving leader, was sworn in Wednesday with a "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties.

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Merkel's coalition deal hands the finance ministry to the Social Democrats for the first time in eight years, giving the SPD a platform to shape euro-area policy.

German lawmakers have officially elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to continue leading the country for a fourth term after months of grueling coalition talks that left the country in limbo following elections in September.

Thirty-five MPs from the parties governing under Merkel did not vote to re-elect her.

Members of Germany's Bundestag voted 364 in favor, 315 opposed and nine abstentions.

Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, who have agreed to reenter a grand coalition together, have a total of 399 votes between them. Wednesday's parliamentary vote comes 171 days - almost double the previous record - after September's election, in which they all lost significant ground.

Merkel's newest, and probably her last, team "is much like her - dependable, if a bit boring", says Politico. Swapping previous black blazers for white, she had turned around a historic defeat for her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in September and negotiated a maze of mind-numbing talks and dead ends to get back into power.

Merkel can turn her attention fully to matters such as French President Emmanuel Macron's months-old proposals for ambitious reforms of the EU and its currency union, and U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of trade tariffs against the EU and even taxes on German automakers.

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