The leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of Germany, Olaf Scholz, and the Green Party and the pro-business Liberal Democrats signed a three-party ruling coalition to form a government and formulate plans for Germany’s transition to a green economy. The 16-year government led by Angela Merkel has since ended.
In the joint agreement, climate protection is an important part of it. The goal of the ruling coalition is to phase out the use of coal by 2030, eight years ahead of the original plan.
The new ruling coalition also intends to use 2% of Germany’s land for wind power generation, and will focus on hydrogen energy. By 2030, they hope that 80% of electricity will come from renewable energy sources and that 15 million vehicles on German roads will be electric.
The new ruling coalition also plans to legalize the sale of cannabis in licensed venues and control the quality and distribution of cannabis.
He also talked about making greater progress in the coalition government “under equal conditions.” He pointed out that because the three parties consist of red, yellow, and green colors, the coalition government still needs the approval of all party members to enter the so-called “traffic-light” alliance.
The German Bundestag is expected to vote on December 6-9, when Scholz will succeed Merkel as Chancellor.
Scholz took office during the difficult period of the new crown pandemic, and Germany is one of several European countries where the number of infections has soared to record levels in recent weeks.
Scholz said on Wednesday that the new ruling coalition will increase vaccination efforts and consider compulsory vaccination for medical staff and other important staff.
“The situation is severe,” Scholz said. “The new crown virus has not been conquered yet.”
“The biggest challenge of our time”
The Social Democratic Party won the election on September 26, leading the Christian Democratic Union of Merkel in votes-the party suffered the worst election results in its history. Under the leadership of candidate Annalena Baerbock, the Green Party achieved the best results ever. Belbok talked about preparing an ambitious coalition aimed at launching an economic transformation.
She called the climate crisis the biggest challenge of this era, and said: “We can change the economy to make it a climate-neutral economy. We have reached an agreement to make climate neutrality a common standard.”
Belbok is expected to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new government, and her Green Party co-leader Robert Habeck (Robert Habeck) will serve as deputy prime minister while overseeing the energy transition.
The new finance minister will be the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Christian Lindner, which has a large number of young voters. He said: “The younger generation gave us this job to overcome the status quo in recent years.”
Tough against Russia and China?
Germany is the largest economy in Europe, so the new government’s decision will have a major impact on its neighbors.
Scholz, 63, said at a press conference: “European sovereignty is the cornerstone of our foreign policy.” He emphasized the friendship between Germany and France.
The new ruling coalition stated that they hope to “improve Europe’s strategic sovereignty”, which actually means greater independence on energy, security and other international issues. However, Germany’s bilateral relations with the United States and its NATO membership will remain at the core of German security.
Because the Green Party is in a dominant position in foreign policy, Berlin’s attitude towards Russia and China may be tougher than the Merkel administration. Her government is often accused of being too close to Beijing and Moscow, putting Germany’s trade interests first.
Some EU countries also criticized Angela Merkel when talking about Hungary and Poland, saying that she did not question the problems of the rule of law and freedom of speech in these two countries.
What plans does the new government have?
The agreement is titled “Boldly Make More Progress”, and among them, keeping Germany neutral on climate issues by 2045 is a major focus. The “ideal” situation is that coal should be phased out before 2030, and the roofs of new commercial buildings will be compulsory to use solar energy, and new types of private residences will also generally use solar energy. 2% of the 16 German states must be used for wind power generation. The phasing out of internal combustion engine vehicles is still the EU’s goal by 2035.
In order to solve the housing crisis in Germany, the minimum wage will be raised to 12 euros (£10) per hour, and 400,000 new apartments will be built every year, of which a quarter will be social housing.
The voting age will be reduced from 18 to 16, and there are plans to reform the election law to stop increasing the number of deputies. The new Bundestag has 735 seats. Changing the voting age in European elections requires the support of a parliamentary majority, but if it is a federal election, it requires two-thirds of support.
Immigrants can apply for German citizenship after five years. According to the plan of the coalition government, immigrants will also be able to have dual citizenship. This will change the lives of millions of immigrants, many of whom have lived in Germany for decades but are still foreigners.
The Prime Minister’s Office will set up a new crown crisis team to focus on the epidemic. Scholz said that vaccination is a way to get rid of the epidemic. In some nursing settings where vulnerable people live, vaccination should be mandatory. Scholz said that the new ruling coalition has agreed to invest 1 billion euros to distribute bonuses to medical staff.
During the epidemic, due to the need for more funds to deal with the crisis, Germany cancelled the “no new debt” rule. But by 2023, the new ruling coalition stated that they hope to restore the “debt brake” stipulated in the German constitution.
A ban prohibiting doctors from advertising abortions will be lifted so that doctors can provide information about abortions to the public without fear of prosecution.