BERLIN: Germany’s veteran chancellor Angela Merkel, often called the world’s most powerful woman, will embark on a fourth term with diminished influence and little vision for shaping Europe’s future, analysts say.
After wrapping up more than 24 hours of talks Friday between her conservatives and the Social Democrats on forming a new “grand coalition” government, Merkel insisted the preliminary deal would break the deadlock in Germany and pave the way to a “fresh start” for Europe.

But before the ink was even dry on the roadmap for her new administration, observers branded Merkel and the team she’s likely to lead a “losers'” coalition with little ambition or power to tackle the major challenges facing the country and the continent.

“In fact this ‘grand coalition’ is only a mini-coalition with just 53 percent” of seats in parliament following the September election that saw both parties cede millions of voters to the far-right, anti-immigration AfD party,…

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