europe

Done deal: Incoming German government signs coalition agreement



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Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) signed a coalition deal on Tuesday that sets out how to accelerate a green transition and modernise Europe’s biggest economy when they take office this week. 

The alliance between the unlikely bedfellows, the first such grouping at a national level, brings to an end 16 years of conservative-led government under Angela Merkel who did not stand for a fifth term in a September election.

The SPD’s Olaf Scholz is due to be elected chancellor by the Bundestag lower house of parliament and officially take office on Wednesday.

Under the logo “Dare More Progress”, leading members of all three parties signed the 177-page agreement in front of television cameras.

“This should be a morning for a new start,” Scholz said.

FDP leader Christian Lindner said the last few weeks had been about talking and now it was time for action.

“From this week we want to work on making progress. We are under no illusion, we face big challenges,” he said.

The parties presented the agreement last month but needed members to approve it before signing it.

Democracy ‘binds us together’

Speaking to reporters at news conference in Berlin, Scholz said his new three-party government will focus on working with democracies around the world and praised US President Joe Biden for strengthening a community of democratic countries.

“It is now clear, what binds us together,” said Scholz.

His comments came days before Biden hosts a virtual summit on democracy focused on the challenges and opportunities facing democracies.

The US has invited more than 100 countries, including Taiwan, to the summit. Washington’s major rivals, China and Russia, have not been invited.

Confirming that his first foreign visit as chancellor would be to France, Scholz also stressed the importance of strengthening the European Union.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)



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