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A G8 summit in 2008. Merkel is the only participant still in office. Photo: Koichi Kamoshida / AFP / Getty Images

It took five months and a good deal of hand-wringing, but Angela Merkel has secured a coalition and will form her fourth government — putting her on course to lead Germany until 2021. 

The other side of the coin: Merkel's longevity is an outlier. As news of her coalition agreement broke, Italians were heading to the polls, yet again. In the 12 years Merkel has been chancellor, Italy has had six prime ministers — one of them twice (Berlusconi).

Here's a closer look at Merkel's remarkable longevity:

  • During Merkel's tenure, the other 18 G20 countries (not including the E.U.) have had a combined 66 heads of government.
  • The only current G20 leader who comes close to matching her is Vladimir Putin, who gave up the presidency for four years during her tenure but was never really out of power.
  • Merkel has overlapped with three U.S. presidents, and during the period her Christian Democrats have controlled the Bundestag both the House and Senate have flipped from the Republicans to the Democrats and back again.
The global perspective

Here's a look at how many times power has changed hands in the rest of the G20 during Merkel's 12 years in office.

Once:

  • China: Hu, Xi
  • India: Singh, Modi
  • Indonesia: Yudhoyono, Widodo
  • Saudi Arabia: Abdullah, Salman

Twice:

  • USA: Bush, Obama, Trump
  • Russia: Putin, Medvedev, Putin
  • Canada: Martin, Harper, Trudeau
  • Turkey: Erdogan, Davutoglu, Yildirim
  • Mexico: Fox, Calderon, Peña Nieto
  • Brazil: Lula, Rousseff, Temer
  • Argentina: Kirchner, Fernandez de Kirchner, Macri

Three times:

  • U.K.: Blair, Brown, Cameron, May
  • France: Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande, Macron
  • South Africa: Mbeki, Motlanthe, Zuma, Ramaphosa
  • South Korea: Roh, Lee, Park, Moon

More than four:

  • Australia: Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Rudd, Abbott, Turnbull
  • Italy: Berlusconi, Prodi, Berlusconi, Monti, Letta, Renzi, Gentiloni
  • Japan: Koizumi, Abe, Fukuda, Aso, Hatoyama, Kan, Noda, Abe

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.

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