A triumphant Angela Merkel has won a second term as chancellor after German voters returned her Christian Democrats to power.
But the new government will be one with a difference – out go her old coalition partners, the Social Democrats and in come the business-friendly Free Democrats. “You’re happy and I’m equally happy,” Merkel told her supporters. “We have succeeded and reached the goal that we fixed ourselves. We’ve reached our goal – a stable majority in Germany, with a new government between the CDU and FDP, and it feels great.” The election result frees her from what had been called a rocky marriage of convenience with the Social Democrats. Her victory allows her to form a centre-right government which she says is best placed to nurture Germany back to health after its worst post war recession.