The National - News

Three-party deal to make Olaf Scholz German chancellor


Olaf Scholz will become Germany’s ninth postwar chancellor under a coalition deal that will hand him the reins of Europe’s biggest economy.

Three parties – the Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats – yesterday united behind a four-year programme that they said would equip Germany to tackle the climate crisis while preserving its economic might.

Mr Scholz is expected to succeed Angela Merkel early next month after a vote in the German Parliament, where the new coalition holds 416 out of 736 seats.

He said the new government would be “united by a belief in progress” and the “will to make our country better, to take it forward and to hold it together”.

The “traffic light” coalition, a nickname derived from the colours of the three parties, brings together leftists, environmen­talists and pro-business liberals who have never previously co-operated.

But with few politicall­y feasible alternativ­es, they came together behind a plan to create a digitised, low-carbon economy while maintainin­g Germany’s reputation for fiscal discipline.

The coalition plans to expand renewable energy, promote innovation, increase the minimum wage for 10 million people, protect pensions and build 400,000 new homes a year.

It will try to accelerate Germany’s coal exit to 2030 by setting a minimum price for carbon emissions.

“With ambition and perseveran­ce, we will make our country a leader in protecting the climate,” Mr Scholz said.

In migration policy, the coalition plans to speed up the process for German citizenshi­p, but expand Europe’s border agency and urge other countries to take in more refugees.

The coalition deal is the first alliance between three parliament­ary blocs since the 1950s.

Mrs Merkel, who is retiring after 16 years in power, included Mr Scholz in a recent G20 summit and talks on tackling the coronaviru­s outbreak.

Her centre-right Christian Democrats will head into opposition after crashing to their lowest-ever vote share at the election.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates