German lawmakers elected Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as the new chancellor today, ending 16 years of conservative rule under Angela Merkel. Scholz, 63, won a clear majority, backed by 395 lawmakers in the lower house.
In the Bundestag, Olaf Scholz and his 16 ministers will be sworn in today and will take office as the first three-party coalition to rule the country.
The three parties - the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Liberals - held extraordinary party congresses and, after approval, signed a 177-page agreement to form the ruling Social Liberal Coalition, which succeeds Angela Merkel's grand coalition.
The main focus of the government's work is the fight against the spread of the coronavirus and the economic consequences of the pandemic. Health has given way to an ambitious climate policy, the main theme of the Greens, which are striving for climate neutrality in 2035. Another focus of the new social liberal government in Berlin is digitalization. Future Finance Minister Christian Lindner confirmed that after the pandemic, the new government is returning to austerity policies and a ban on new debt from 2023.
In the coalition agreement, the three parties advocate strengthening the EU's economic and monetary union and federalization, but do not specify how this reform will be achieved.
The inauguration of Olaf Scholz, the ninth chancellor of the Federal Republic, marks the end of Angela Merkel's 16-year term, who announced in late 2018 that she was stepping down after the September elections.
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