German parties prepare to present governing coalition deal

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The three-way coalition will see Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as chancellor, replacing conservative Angela Merkel.

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According to an invitation distributed by the Social Democrats, the leaders of the three German parties are set to present their deal to form a coalition government that will see Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as chancellor, replacing conservative Angela Merkel.

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The SPD said a news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. (14:00 GMT) local time on Wednesday would follow the final round of talks between centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), ecologists Greens and Libertarian Free Democrats (FDPs). . Its invitation.

The SPD has been in talks with the Greens and the FDP since narrowly winning the national election on 26 September.

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If approved by party members in the coming weeks, the deal would establish the first three-way federal coalition government in Germany since 1950 and replace the current “grand” coalition of the Social Democrats and Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

The new coalition – named the “Traffic-Light” Coalition after the respective colors of the three parties – has pledged to modernize Europe’s largest economy by upgrading its infrastructure and prioritizing measures to protect the climate.

Sources told Reuters on Tuesday that the parties had agreed to phase out coal by 2030 and end power generation from gas by 2040.

At the urging of the Free Democrats, potential partners said they would not raise taxes or curb debt raising, making funding a central issue.

Some onlookers fear the parties will struggle to bridge their arch ideological divide, which could cripple the European Union, currently battling the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of authoritarianism.

Still, the parties have rejected predictions that talks could go on until next year, or even fail, with their promise to deliver a deal two months after the September election.

The talks were relatively cohesive and quicker than the previous coalition talks.

But political change – with Merkel as caretaker – has come at a difficult time in Germany, where COVID-19 cases are rising again amid a fourth wave of infections in many parts of Europe.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrats are currently busy in a leadership contest to determine who will become their next leader and the party’s fortunes in September’s election after facing its worst election result after 16 years in power. will revive.

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