Monday, January 24

Germany: government agreement in sight to open post-Merkel

Three political parties have announced that they want to present an agreement on Wednesday afternoon to form a government led by the center-left in Germany and thus open a new era after 16 years of Angela Merkel.

Almost two months after the legislative elections marked by a historic debacle for the conservative camp of the Chancellor, the Social Democrats of the SPD are preparing to take the reins of power in an unprecedented alliance with the Greens and the liberal FDP party.

These three formations will present their government “contract” – detailing their program and negotiated for several weeks – at 3:00 p.m. local (2:00 p.m. GMT) in Berlin, they announced in a statement.

The doors of the Chancellery are now wide open for the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, 63, who should be made chancellor in early December by the members of the Bundestag.

Germany will then definitively turn the page on the Merkel years, since she has only been managing current affairs for a month.

The coalition agreement on a government program was finalized after vigorous negotiations.

Its rapid conclusion should reassure other European countries, worried following the Legislative Assembly to see Germany without a real captain on board when the Covid-19 pandemic resumes.

The EU is also facing a new major crisis on its doorstep with the influx of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis orchestrated by Belarus to the border with Poland.

– First steps –

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 in first with 25.7% of the vote in the legislative elections in September, will once again lead the government of the main European economy.

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian ally CSU are starting an opposition cure with the aim of rebuilding themselves after a crushing defeat in the elections and a historically low score of 18.9%.

Concretely, the leaders of the three parties in the process of governing must publish a detailed roadmap for the next four years.

The result of a compromise, this coalition contract must define all the economic, environmental and societal reforms that the next government, whose composition should be announced shortly, will implement.

It will give pride of place to the fight against global warming, at the forefront of debates during the electoral campaign, while Germany, because of its industrial weight, is one of the biggest polluters on the planet.

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

The very evening of the elections, all 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 at an important time.

– A woman in diplomacy –

The three formations have yet to distribute the ministerial portfolios.

The result of a clever mix, this distribution should notably result in the appointment for the first time of a woman to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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 move into a “super ministry” of the Economy, Environment and Energy.

Reference-www.rtl.be

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