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Germany’s SPD, Greens and FDP sign deal to form new government

Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) signed a coalition agreement in Berlin on Tuesday, paving the way for a new government to take office this week.

Berlin, 7 December 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) signed a coalition agreement in Berlin on Tuesday, paving the way for a new government to take office this week.

Leaders of the three groups — known collectively as the “traffic light” coalition, because of their party colors: red, yellow and green — gathered at a central Berlin venue to ink the deal hammered out in the weeks following the late September elections.

Olaf Scholz of the SPD is set to to take over as chancellor following a vote in parliament on Wednesday, as Angela Merkel bows out after 16 years in office.

The new Cabinet, made up of seven ministers from the SPD, five from the Greens and four from the FDP, and nearly evenly divided between men and women, is to be sworn in the same day.

07 December 2021, Berlin: Annalena Baerbock, designated German Foreign Minister, Robert Habeck, designated German Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, arrive for the signing of the coalition agreement between the Traffic light parties to form the new German government. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

“That will be a tomorrow on which we launch a new government,” Scholz said. The outcome from the weeks of negotiation had made progress possible, he added.

The battle to contain the coronavirus pandemic would demand the full powers of the new coalition, Scholz said.

Robert Habeck, co-leader of the Greens and Scholz’s future deputy, said his party’s aim was “a government for the people in Germany.”

Habeck, who is to head a super-ministry for the economy, energy and the climate, referred to the challenges facing Europe’s largest — and the world’s fourth-largest — economy in combining the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with securing prosperity.

07 December 2021, Berlin: (L-R) Olaf Scholz, Robert Habeck, Christian Lindner, Saskia Esken, Norbert Walter-Borjans, and Annalena Baerbock, attend the signing of the coalition agreement between the Traffic light parties to form the new German government. Photo: Bernd Von Jutrczenka/dpa

Annalena Baerbock, Greens co-leader and future foreign minister, said the coalition deal was appropriate to the social realities facing Germany.

FDP head and future finance minister Christian Lindner said the time for action was about to begin. “We are not under any illusions. These are major challenges that we are facing.”

After the leaders hammered out the deal, the parties went back to their memberships and executives to secure approval for the 177-page document.

The signing ceremony was at the Berlin Futurium, a center for exhibitions on the technologies of the future.

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