Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 24

22 | 23 THE STATE & POLITICS THE STATE & POLITICS Successful Reforms ∙ Federal State ∙ Active Politics ∙ Broad Participation ∙ Vibrant Culture of Remembrance INSIGHT SUCCESSFUL REFORMS Today, 25 years after reunification, Germany is She is the first woman in the history of the a value-based, democratic, economically suc- Federal Republic of Germany to hold this of- cessful, and cosmopolitan country. The polit- fice. Merkel grew up in former East Germany, ical landscape is diverse; the democratic par- where she gained a doctorate in Physics. In ties compete against one another – but they rankings by Forbes Magazine in 2014 and also have mutual respect for one another and 2015 she took first place in the list of the form coalitions at various political levels. world’s most powerful women. Deputy Chan- Since the elections for the 18th German Bun- cellor Sigmar Gabriel (Federal Minister for destag in 2013, Germany has been governed Economic Affairs and Energy) and Dr. Frank- by a Grand Coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD, an Walter Steinmeier (Federal Foreign Minister) alliance of the two major forces in the Ger- are important representatives of the SPD in the man party system. Of the 630 Members of Cabinet. The Cabinet is made up of 14 minis- Parliament, the coalition partners account for ters and the Head of the Federal Chancellery. 503 seats (CDU/CSU 310, SPD 193). The oppos- The Coalition Agreement entitled “Shaping ition has 127 seats, with The Left party hold- Germany’s Future” serves as the basis of the ing 64 and Alliance 90/The Greens 63 of them, government parties’ joint work for the cur- making it the smallest parliamentary opposi- rent legislature until 2017. tion for over 40 years. Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel (CDU), the first female head In 2016, the German economy will enter its sev- of a German government, has been in power enth year of consecutive growth, employment since 2005 and is now in her third term of office. is at a record high, and government revenue