SPD, Greens and FDP parties formally sign coalition agreement in Berlin
The three parties that will form Germany’s new “traffic light” coalition have formally signed their coalition agreement, paving the way for Germany’s new chancellor and cabinet to be sworn into office.
Germany’s “traffic light” coalition is here
Germany is finally set to swear in a new Chancellor and cabinet, two and a half months after the September elections. On Tuesday, the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) formally signed a coalition agreement at a public ceremony in Berlin. Speaking at the ceremony, SPD frontman, Olaf Scholz, declared “a morning when we set out for a new government.”
The 177-page coalition agreement was approved by the SPD and FDP parties over the weekend, with the Greens indicating their approval on Monday following an internal vote. Scholz has since praised the three parties for coming to an agreement so facilely. Scholz is now expected to be elected as Chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, with his new cabinet also being sworn in on the same day.
German party leaders praise coalition
The individual leaders of the Greens and FDP have praised the new coalition, and spoken of their hope for what the new government can bring for Germany. Robert Habeck, the co-leader of the Greens, is expected to lead a new environment and energy ministry. He called the coalition “a government for the people of Germany,” and stated its intention of working towards climate neutrality and prosperity.
Habeck’s co-leader, Annalena Baerbock, said that the new government “reflects diversity,” which is to be a cornerstone of the new government’s plans and policies. FDP leader Christian Lindner, who is set to take on the role of Finance Minister, stated that the new government faces difficult challenges but is ready to work towards progress.
Scholz, for his part, told reporters that he wanted “the 20s to be a time of new beginnings,” and is ready to oversee “the biggest industrial modernisation which will be capable of stopping climate change caused by mankind”. He also made it clear that beating the coronavirus pandemic was a priority for his government, one that would initially require all its “strength and energy.”
What does the new government hope to achieve?
Germany’s new government is focused on modernising the country, investing in sustainable energy sources and diversity. Scholz has already put diversity at the heart of his government, by unveiling Germany’s first gender-balanced cabinet. “That corresponds to the society we live in - half of the power belongs to women,” he said.
The coalition parties have also agreed on making Germany carbon neutral, which will include huge investments into sustainable energy sources. They will also aim to return to a “no-new-debt” policy by 2023.
Baerbock, who is expected to be made the first female Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said she wants to put human rights at the forefront of German diplomacy, signalling a shift away from outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s more pragmatic stance towards authoritarian governments, like those in China and Russia.