Germany names new Cabinet

Oct. 13, 2005 at 8:54 AM
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BERLIN, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Political uncertainty eased in Germany Thursday as Cabinet positions were assigned, with conservative Peer Steinbrueck becoming Finance minister.

Steinbrueck is the former Social Democrat, or SPD, leader of North Rhine-Westphalia, who had the difficult job managing the finances of Germany's ailing Ruhr industrial heartland.

The SPD got eight of 14 ministry posts after allowing conservative Christian Democratic Union leader Angela Merkel the chancellery Monday.

The BBC said SPD party leader Franz Muentefering, who took over party leadership from outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in 2003 will become vice chancellor, as well as Labor minister.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was named Foreign minister, while the other ministry posts going to the SPD are those in Justice, Health, Environment, Transport and Development Aid.

Neither the SPD nor CDU won enough support in the Sept. 18 election to form a government, forcing them into a coalition situation.

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