Western Europe

Germany’s ‘traffic light’ coalition unveils details about new government

13:56, 04 December 2021
Germany’s ‘traffic light’ coalition unveils details about new government Photo: Lisa Ducret/dpa/Global Look Press

Named after the three parties' respective colors, the ruling coalition is expected to have the Cabinet sworn in by Wednesday.

The ruling “traffic light” coalition has announced that the new German government is on its way to being finally formed and will be presented after getting final approval by the parties’ members next week. The federal election winner Olaf Scholz from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) is consequently set to take the post of the country’s Chancellor.

Once the coalition, composed of the SPD (red), the Free Democrats (yellow), and the Greens, settles down final details and takes office, Germany will enter a new, post-Merkel era after 16 years of her leadership.

How will Germany’s domestic policy change?

The coalition is expected to introduce a more liberal policy with the priority of fighting climate change and global warming. It has already revealed its plans and objectives including non-usage of coal-plant-created energy by 2030 and replacing it with at least 80% of electricity coming from renewable sources. Besides, the union seeks to promote electric vehicles so that their number reaches 15 mln by the same year.

Concerning the social policy, the SPD-led coalition proposed to increase the minimum wage to €12 ($13.5) per hour and entitle families with children to a monthly payment of €500 ($565) regardless of their income.

It also considers legalizing cannabis, facilitating immigration in Germany and promoting it in the EU, and reducing the voting age to 16 years. Unlike other initiatives, these three raised public debates and are not generally approved according to recent opinion polls.

And what about the foreign?

The Greens’ leader Annalena Baerbock who will become the new Foreign Minister has already promised that Germany will react tougher towards authoritarian regimes including China and Russia.

“As European democracies and part of a transatlantic democratic alliance, we are also in systemic competition with an authoritarian regime like China.”

Specifically, she has presented plans to limit imports coming from China presuming that it can be efficient leverage for Europe and create problems for the Asian giant. She added that even though dialogue remained the essential component on the international level, it did not mean that one should keep quiet, apparently referring to the PRC’s alleged human rights abuse.

China has responded that it wished German politicians promoted cooperation and built bridges rather than walls. It has also suggested holding negotiations with the new Government to put their relations “on a good path”.

As for NATO, Germany will remain its member and a member of its nuclear sharing agreement, as well as host American nuclear weapons. Authorities are also forecast to invest in replacing combat aircraft with newer models, including those capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Other unveiled appointments

Apart from Scholz who will be Germany’s new Chancellor and Baerbock, set to take the Foreign Office, it has already been announced that the Free Democrat leader Christian Lindner will become the country’s finance minister, the position previously occupied by Scholz, and the Greens’ co-leader Robert Habeck will lead the combined ministry of economy and environment.

The coalition has won 416 parliament seats combined out of a total of 735. The new government will face such issues as a health crisis in Germany and an energy crisis in the EU.