For the first time in 16 years, Germany will have a center-left government and a new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat whose job will be to replace Angela Merkel, the woman who made Germany indispensable in Europe and Europe. Peace.
The three parties have negotiated in strict secrecy to craft a new government since Elections September 26… After much anticipation, they are expected to announce their legal agreement for the next four years at 15:00 Berlin time.
While negotiations were underway until the last minute on the form of the new administration, Mr. Scholz is expected to be sworn in early next month. It will immediately face a range of crises, including a rapidly escalating pandemic and border conflicts in Belarus and Ukraine.
This is the end of an era for Germany and Europe. For more than ten years, Ms Merkel was not only the Chancellor of Germany, but the de facto leader of Europe. She led her country and continent through a series of crises and in this process helped Germany become the leading power in Europe for the first time in modern history.
Mr Scholz’s center-left party, which narrowly won the September elections, ruled with Ms Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats for three of her four terms. Mr. Scholz himself has been her finance minister for the past four years.
Now he will lead an unusual trilateral coalition. with progressive greens and small Free Democrats advocating for business.
“This is typical of Germany: it’s change and continuity in one,” said Cem Ozdemir, a prominent Green Party MP and one of 300 negotiators for a new coalition deal.
Tensions are clearly building up in the new government, and important but opposing ministries are expected to be handed over to coalition partners at opposite ends of the political spectrum.
On issues ranging from Europe to trade and foreign policy, most analysts expect the new government as a whole to adhere to the course set by its predecessor. But a series of urgent crises – and two more aggressive coalition partners – could force the new chancellor to rethink some of his past strategies.
Scholz’s Germany may be somewhat more inclined to support European integration and move closer to the United States in putting pressure on China and Russia.
But the buzzword was continuity.
“The new government will be essentially a government of continuity, not change,” said Holger Schmiding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. “Anyone who hoped it was the start of something completely different will be disappointed.”