German Parties Reach Coalition Deal To End Merkel Era

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Angela Merkel’s era ends in Germany with a new agreement.

German Social Democrat Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday he had reached an agreement with the Free Democrats and Greens to form a new coalition government that will end the Angela Merkel era.

According to a 177-page agreement reached after two months of talks, the three parties want to accelerate public investments in green technologies and digitization while returning to strict debt limits from 2023.

The deal will establish Germany’s first federal coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), Libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) and Green Greens, and end a 16-year conservative government led by Merkel, marking a new era for relations with Europe and the rest of the world.

“We want to dare to make more progress,” Scholz said at a press conference in Berlin, flanked by the leaders of the FDP and the Greens. “We will invest heavily in Germany to keep it at the forefront.”

Merkel leaves big shoes to fill. She has sailed Germany and Europe through multiple crises and has been a champion of liberal democracy in the face of rising authoritarianism around the world.

Critics say she has managed rather than solved the problems and leaves her successor with tough decisions on many fronts.

The alliance – named the traffic light coalition after the respective colors of the three parties – has a majority in the lower house of parliament and hopes the government will be sworn in early next month after the parties ratify the coalition pact. .

It faces immediate challenges, with Germany facing its worst COVID-19 wave to date and Europe grappling with the fallout from Brexit and a crisis on the EU’s border with Belarus.

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