Germany announced its new coalition government, heralding the end of Angela Merkel's 16 years as chancellor

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Angela Merkel seated at a table, with German and EU flags behind her
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
  • Germany's incoming government announced a new coalition and Angela Merkel's successor.

  • The Social Democrat Olaf Scholz will take over after three parties agreed a coalition government.

  • Merkel helped direct Europe and was known as the world's most powerful woman.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's successor has been announced, as Germany nears a future without its leader of 16 years.

The country's next government announced on Wednesday that Olaf Scholz, Germany's finance minister and vice chancellor, will take over from Merkel as chancellor.

Scholz said he expects the government to approve the deal that would make him chancellor within the next 10 days, the Associated Press reported. The government has been planning to make the change on the week of December 6, Süddeutsche reported.

The politicians also announced a new coalition government between the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the Free Democratic Party. The three parties had been negotiating for the past two months, trying to agree a coalition deal so Merkel could be replaced after the September general election. Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, is set to be the opposition party.

Scholz's party, the Social Democrats, won the most votes in the September election. Scholz previously served as its deputy leader.

Merkel has been Germany's leader since 2005, becoming known as Europe's de facto leader and the world's most powerful woman.

Merkel stepped down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union in 2018 after 18 years at its head, but continued to lead the country as chancellor after saying she would so do until the end of her term. She announced in October 2018 that she would not run for reelection in 2012.

She has been serving as acting chancellor since September, while the parties negotiated on the future government.

Merkel held her last cabinet meeting on Wednesday, and was pictured being presented with flowers from Scholz.

Angela Merkel smiles as she receives a bouquet of flowers
Merkel receives a bouquet from acting German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on November 24, 2021.Markus Schreiber/Pool via REUTERS

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