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Germany’s choice of new chancellor confirmed — Analysis

Germany’s so-called traffic light coalition has unveiled its plan to form a government eight weeks after the federal election, with former finance minister Olaf Scholz set to be chancellor.

In a leaked 177-page draft document, titled “Dare to advance more – Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability” and seen by Reuters, the SPD (Social Democratic Party), Greens, and FDP (Free Democratic Party) revealed their coalition agreement for the next government of Germany. 

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The leak on Wednesday came after a final day of discussions between the three parties. The deal will see Germany’s first three-way federal coalition government since the 1950s.

This coalition deal promises to boost the minimum wage by 12 euro an hour, and to lower the voting age to 16. A previous commitment to building more apartments is also included in the coalition deal. The state funds 25% of the target of 400,000 flats annually. 

Additionally, policy decision include making it possible for immigrant to apply to citizenship after five-years of residence and creating a team of crisis workers to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the draft agreement, the new coalition states that it is open for constructive dialogue with Russia.

Coalition negotiations began on October 21, after the three traffic light parties – a reference to the group’s colors – laid the foundations for exploratory talks to proceed. After the September 26 elections, the SDP led by Olaf Scholz (ex-finance minister) was declared the Bundestag’s largest party. 

The exploratory paper revealed that the SPD, Greens and FDP already had made some progress. “preliminary determinations”Several issues were resolved.  

If the coalition agreement is approved by party members in the coming weeks, the traffic light coalition would replace the current coalition of the Christian Social Union and outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

The deal will also see Scholz replace Merkel as the country’s chancellor after 16 years in power. This longtime leader decided to not run for another term.  

Three-party bloc pledges to make Europe the world’s biggest economy more modern by investing in infrastructure upgrades and green industry development. Sources tell Reuters that parties have agreed to eliminate coal use by 2030, and stop the production of power from natural gas by 2040.

It is understood that the Greens may get control over the foreign ministry, while Robert Habeck, the co-leader of the party, is expected to become a “Superminister” overseeing the economy as well as climate and energy policy.

This announcement is made as Merkel’s caretaker government struggles to control a large number of Covid-19 cases.  

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