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SPD leader named economy, energy minister

BERLIN--Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats, junior partners in Angela Merkel's new government, said Sunday that he would become her vice-chancellor and head up a super-ministry responsible for the economy and energy policy.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier will return as foreign minister, a job he held under Merkel during her first term 2005-9 when she also led a left-right “grand coalition.”

The Social Democrats (SPD) kept a pledge to fill half of the cabinet seats allotted to them with women.

Left-wing firebrand Andrea Nahles, the SPD's general secretary, is to become labor minister, sharing responsibility for rolling out Germany's first minimum wage — a condition the SPD set for joining Merkel in a power-sharing government.

Party vice-chairwoman Manuela Schwesig is to take charge of family affairs.

And SPD treasurer Barbara Hendricks is headed for the environment ministry.

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