The federal chancellor ( der Bundeskanzler ) is the German "premier" and political leader. He/she is elected by the Bundestag for a four-year term. The chancellor can also be removed by a no-confidence vote, but this is rare. Following the September 2005 elections, Angela Merkel (CDU) replaced Gerhard Schröder (SPD) as federal chancellor. In November a vote in the Bundestag made Merkel Germany's first woman chancellor ( Kanzlerin ). Government "grand coalition" negotiations for cabinet positions had also continued into November. For the results see Merkel's Cabinet.
Westerners leave behind structurally weak regions that fight with a much higher poverty risk than western regions (German) , as an inequality and poverty report published Tuesday by the German government shows. The government had been criticized for adjusting a Dec. 2012 draft of the report by weakening the phrasing of statements about negative outcomes in order to “mirror Germany’s current well-being,” as German economy minister and vice chancellor Philipp Rösler argued. Critics have called for studies like this to be conducted by an independent economic institute rather than a government committee.