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Germany: Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals sign government agreement

A new government agreement was reached on Wednesday in Germany to turn the page on 16 years of Merkel governance. The liberal party will inherit the finance ministry while the Greens will lead a “super” climate ministry as well as diplomacy.

The German Social Democrats, the Greens and the Liberals concluded a government agreement on Wednesday 24 November. Almost two months after the general elections marked by a historic debacle for the conservative camp of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the social democrat Olaf Scholz will become the next chancellor of the first European economy, in an unprecedented alliance with the Greens and the party liberal of the FDP.

These three parties have concluded a coalition « contract » entitled « Daring for more progress. Alliance for freedom, justice and sustainability » and which gives pride of place to environmental protection, in particular with an anticipated exit from coal. to 2030, compared to 2038 previously. Among the other flagship measures, which the new unprecedented team in power in Germany, wants to implement include the return to budgetary rigor from 2023 and the legalization of cannabis.

Olaf Scholz, 63, who is to be made chancellor in early December by members of the Bundestag, must now present this agreement to the press. Germany will then turn the page on the Merkel years, which has only been managing current affairs for a month.

The Greens are already assured of access to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as a « super » Ministry of Climate and the Economy while the FDP, very orthodox on public accounts, will hold the finance portfolio. .

Pressure to sign an agreement

The coalition agreement was finalized after vigorous negotiations. Because time is running out at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has never been so virulent with daily records of new infections and the fear of saturation of hospitals.

Sign of growing nervousness in the face of the outbreak of contaminations, Angela Merkel received Tuesday evening at the chancellery the leaders of the parties of the future coalition called « traffic light ».

The rapid conclusion of a government agreement should reassure other European countries, worried after the legislative elections to see Germany, an EU heavyweight, without a real captain on board.

And this, at a time when the Twenty-Seven face a new major crisis at their doorstep with the influx orchestrated by Belarus of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis to the border with Poland.

The SPD at the head of the government

Olaf Scholz, familiar with the mysteries of negotiation, has already taken his first steps on the international scene by accompanying Angela Merkel to the G20 summit last month in Rome and by participating informally in the main bilateral talks, in particular with US President Joe Biden.

For the first time in 16 years, the SPD, which came first with 25.7% of the vote in the general election, will once again lead the government of Europe’s main economy.

Result of a compromise, the « coalition contract » between the three parties defines all the economic, environmental and societal reforms that the next government, whose composition will soon be known, will implement.

It was developed in record time: after exploratory discussions, Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals got to the heart of the matter on October 21 with the constitution of more than twenty working groups.

On the evening of the elections, everyone had shown their willingness to go quickly so as not to repeat the scenario of 2017 when Angela Merkel took more than five months to form her government, paralyzing Europe.

Key positions for the Greens

An unsuccessful environmental candidate for chancellery after a failed campaign, Annalena Baerbock, 40, is expected to take the helm of German diplomacy in a government with gender parity, according to media reports.

The very important and prestigious Morocco Finance should meanwhile fall to the leader of the liberal FDP party, Christian Lindner, holding an orthodox line on public deficits.

The popular co-president of the Greens, Robert Habeck should settle in a « super ministry » of Climate at a time when the fight against global warming is at the forefront of debates, in a country among the biggest polluters of the planet.

With AFP

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