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Germany's Merkel starts 3rd term with new coalition, 3 months after awkward election result

  • 340ae7225f68282a460f6a7067002d25.jpg

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves while holding the ballot in her hand during the Chancellor election at a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) (The Associated Press)

  • 36e8b7765f68282a460f6a706700f64a.jpg

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves while holding the ballot in her hand during the Chancellor election at a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) (The Associated Press)

  • 273d8ce05f66282a460f6a7067002b53.jpg

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel casts her vote for the Chancellor election during a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) (The Associated Press)

Germany's Parliament has elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to a third term as the leader of Europe's biggest economic power, nearly three months after an awkward election result forced her to put together a new governing coalition.

Lawmakers elected Merkel as chancellor Tuesday by 462 votes to 150 with nine abstentions. She now heads a "grand coalition" of Germany's biggest parties — her conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats.

The two are traditional rivals. Their effort to form a government after Sept. 22 national elections has been the longest in post-World War II Germany.

The new government will move Germany somewhat leftward, for example introducing a national minimum wage, but will take a largely unchanged approach to approach to Europe's debt crisis.