German Chancellor Angela Merkel receives military sendoff as days in power near end

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a "Grand Tattoo" -- the highest military ceremony for a civilian -- on Thursday evening as her days in power near their end.

Merkel was entertained by torch-wielding military officers in full regalia, fireworks and songs chosen by the chancellor performed by a marching band. While tattoo ceremonies in the past for chancellors have usually seen upwards of 600 guests, Merkel chose about 200 to attend due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The chancellor is set to hand over power after 16 years to Olaf Scholz, who will need to ratify a deal under which the centre-left will return to the chancellery for the first time since 2005.

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