New German government signs coalition agreement

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Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) on Tuesday signed a coalition agreement that explains how to speed up a green transition and modernize Europe’s largest economy when they take office this week.

The alliance between the unlikely bedfellows, the first such group at the national level, ends a 16-year conservative government led by Angela Merkel who did not run for a fifth term in the September elections.

Olaf Scholz of the SPD is due to be elected chancellor by the lower house of parliament in the Bundestag and officially take office on Wednesday.

Under the “Dare More Progress” logo, the main members of the three parties signed the 177-page agreement in front of television cameras.

“It should be a morning for a fresh start,” said Scholz.

FDP leader Christian Lindner said the last few weeks had been spent discussing and now was the time to act.

“From this week, we want to work to progress. We are under no illusions, we are facing great challenges,” he said.

The parties presented the deal last month but needed members to approve it before signing it.

Democracy “unites us”

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Berlin, Scholz said his new tripartite government will focus on working with democracies around the world and praised US President Joe Biden for strengthening a community of countries democratic.

“What binds us is now clear,” said Scholz.

His comments came days before Biden hosted a virtual democracy summit focused on the challenges and opportunities facing democracies.

The United States has invited more than 100 countries, including Taiwan, to the summit. Washington’s main rivals China and Russia were not invited.

Confirming that his first visit abroad as chancellor would be to France, Scholz also stressed the importance of strengthening the European Union.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)


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