Monday, November 29

Government Agreement in Germany: Olaf Scholz will be the next Chancellor

Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals announced this Wednesday at a press conference the government agreement reached as a result of the elections on September 26. Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, finance minister and vice chancellor, will be the next prime minister, who could take office in the week of December 6. “The traffic light is on,” said Scholz, referring to the name given to the coalition by the color of the parties that comprise it.

The social democrat Scholz proclaims himself the winner in Germany with an uncertain scenario to negotiate a government

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In the agreement, the three parties share the ministries. The Social Democrats will remain the Chancellery, Interior, Defense, Construction and Housing, Labor and Social Affairs, Health and Economic Cooperation. The Greens will lead the Ministry of Economy and Climate, as well as Foreign Affairs, Family, Agriculture and Environment. Lastly, the Liberals will have Finance, Justice, Transportation, and Education and Research.

The leaders of the Greens, Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock are the favorites to head Economy and Foreign respectively. Christian Lindner, leader of the Liberals, is the most popular name for Finance. “Scholz will be a strong chancellor,” Lindner said. “We have extraordinarily ambitious projects.” Baerbock, for his part, said: “We want to create a new beginning for further progress and initiate a paradigm shift for cohesion in our society.”

The 177-page text includes some specific measures that the new Government will try to implement: increase the minimum wage to 12 euros per hour, build 400,000 flats a year – a quarter of them with public funds – reduce the minimum voting age to 16, legalize the cannabis use and reach 80% renewable energy by 2030, among others. “We have decided that this will be a decade of investment,” said Scholz.

Germany will thus have a coalition agreement 59 days after the general elections, in which the most voted force were the Social Democrats, with 25.7% of the votes, ahead of the Conservatives, who fell with 24.1% to its all-time low.

The agreement has yet to be ratified by the three formations; Social Democrats and Liberals plan to do so in a congress of their respective parties on the first weekend of December, while the Greens will consult their bases.

Negotiations began on September 28 in a meeting between the leadership of the Greens and Liberals – minor partners in the future coalition government – which later transcended and was immortalized in a selfie showing the greens Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck and the liberals Christian Lindner and Volker Wissing. The Greens obtained 14.8% of the votes and the Liberals of the FDP, 11.5%.

The first meeting between environmentalists and liberals was interpreted as an attempt to seek coincidences and thus avoid a situation like that of 2017, when after weeks of talks, the FDP declared the negotiations with the Greens and conservatives broken.

The press conference began at 3:00 p.m., but before that, the parties had held a final round of negotiations. The new government will put an end to the 16-year era of Merkel, who did not appear in the elections.

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