The new government’s vision for Germany includes plans to legalize cannabis. It also plans to phase out coal by 2030 and have at least 15 million electric vehicles on the road in the same year. In the case of a surge in cases in the country, the mandatory use of the Covid-19 vaccine will also be considered.
According to the agreement announced in Berlin on Wednesday, Scholz of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) will work with the Green Party and the pro-business Liberal Democratic Party to lead a three-party coalition. Prior to this, the September elections were very close, and two months of negotiations were required to form a new government.
Scholz, together with the leaders of the alliance partners, said at a press conference that the “traffic light government” here refers to the red, yellow, and green colors of all parties. “In terms of climate and industry, we want to be bold,” he said.
The agreement-which sets out the government’s vision for its four-year term-will now be submitted to a wider range of party members for consideration. Unless there is any dissatisfaction at the last minute, Schultz will be sworn in as prime minister early next month.
The coalition parties of the new government are not traditional bedmates. The pro-business Liberal Democrats are more often aligned with the center-right than with the left-leaning Social Democrats and Greens.
But on Wednesday, the German tri-party coalition government showed a smiling united front to the gathered reporters.
At a time when the EU’s diplomatic uncertainty is increasing, the incoming Chancellor of the Exchequer Schultz will take over as the helm of Europe’s largest economy, namely the aggression of Russia and Belarus, and the threats to the rule of law by Poland and Hungary.
The new government plans to phase out coal by 2030-eight years ahead of Merkel’s previous 2038 target. “Step by step, we are ending the era of fossil fuels,” the alliance agreement said, adding that it is ensuring that measures are taken to “put Germany on the path of 1.5 degrees of global warming.”
It also plans to introduce controlled sales of “adults for recreational purposes” cannabis. Only licensed stores will sell marijuana to “ensure the protection of minors.” The coalition will review the measure within four years.
Need to consider mandatory vaccination
On Wednesday, Schultz told reporters that the new alliance will consider mandatory vaccination because “vaccinations are the way out of this epidemic.”
The number of cases in the eastern German states is particularly dire, where health officials warn that overcrowded hospitals may soon run out of beds for intensive care patients.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), although Germany has vaccinated about 80% of its adult population, it still lags behind southern European countries such as Spain and Portugal.
On Monday, Health Minister Jens Spahn unceremoniously urged more people to be vaccinated. Spann said at a press conference in Berlin that he was certain that by the end of this winter, everyone in Germany would “vaccinate, recover or die,” which is related to the delta variant.
The crisis has also brought more attention to Russia’s influence in Europe-especially the controversial Beixi 2 pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Due to problems with the company’s operating license, the German authorities suspended the approval process for the pipeline last week.
Schultz’s predecessor, Merkel, is known for his stable EU diplomacy. He guided the EU through the European debt and immigration crises in various ways. It remains to be seen whether the new prime minister will also strengthen the role of EU leadership — or leave these shoes to another person to fill.
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