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Germany

Merkel sworn in for second term

October 29, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Angela Merkel was sworn in for a second term as German chancellor and her new center-right government took up the task of tackling the country's tough economic situation a month after national elections.

Merkel, 55, will serve as chancellor of a ruling coalition made up of her Christian Democratic Union, its Bavaria-only sister party the Christian Social Union, and the pro-business Free Democrats.

She was elected through a vote of 323 in favor out of a possible 612. But nine members of coalition parties voted against her, leading some to question the government's solidity hours after she and her 15 ministers were sworn in.

In its sweeping agenda, the new coalition has promised an overhaul of the healthcare system, more help for families and annual tax cuts of up $36 billion.

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