Ampel coalition agreement: climate protection, investments, minimum wages: the ambitious plans of the SPD, Greens and FDP
Berlin The traffic light coalitioners shine – but only before they step onto the stage in Berlin’s West Harbor. When Olaf Scholz (SPD), Annalena Baerbock, Robert Habeck (Greens), Christian Lindner and the SPD bosses Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans present their coalition agreement, seriousness is quickly written on their faces again in view of the Corona situation – although history has just succeeded for them.
In less than two months they managed to forge a government alliance. “The traffic lights are on,” said Olaf Scholz (SPD), who should be elected as the next Federal Chancellor by December 9th at the latest. For the first time in the Federal Republic, Germany is governed by a coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP.
The new alliance is a “coalition at eye level” with three partners who use their strengths for the good of the country, said Scholz. “We are united by our belief in progress. We are united by the will to advance the country and stick together. We want to dare to make more progress. “
With this reference to the historical sentence of Willy Brandt (SPD) “We want to dare more democracy” at the start of the social-liberal coalition in 1969, the 177-page coalition agreement of the Ampel alliance is also overwritten. “Dare to make more progress – Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability” is the title with which the three parties want to mark a turning point in terms of content.
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The traffic light wants to make the country a pioneer in climate protection and create 400,000 new apartments. In return, the traffic light wants to increase investments, but adhere to the debt brake. “These investments are not free of charge,” said the SPD politician.
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In addition, the new coalition wants to modernize the welfare state and introduce a citizen’s benefit, a basic child benefit and a share pension. The traffic light aims to stabilize the pension level at 48 percent. The minimum wage should rise to twelve euros. “That’s a raise for ten million people,” said Scholz. Expenditures for research and development are to increase, the voting age to decrease to 16 years.
The Greens chairman Robert Habeck called the coalition agreement “a document of courage and confidence”. The guiding principle is an active society, an investing state and “a Germany that simply works”. Green co-leader Annalena Baerbock spoke of a “paradigm shift” in crucial areas that is needed for the modernization of the country.
From the point of view of FDP boss Christian Lindner, the traffic light stands for a change of course. The SPD, Greens and FDP did not hide their differences in election campaigns. “But we have one thing in common, namely overcoming the status quo”. Lindner also explicitly praised Olaf Scholz.
This has an “inner railing” through which it represents more people than just those who voted for the SPD, Greens or FDP, according to Lindner. “That is why Olaf Scholz will be a good Federal Chancellor.” SPD leader Saskia Esken spoke of an “alliance for the future”.
The parties and party committees still have to pass the coalition agreement, but this is a matter of form. It is therefore not yet clear who will move into the federal cabinet alongside Scholz. The SPD does not want to appoint its ministers until after its party congress on December 4, when the party votes on the coalition agreement.
However, the three parties have clarified the allocation of departments. And the filling of some ministerial posts has already leaked through, for example that of the FDP.
So party leader Lindner becomes the new federal finance minister. FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing takes over the transport department, which surprisingly went to the Liberals and not the Greens. Marco Buschmann (FDP) will be the new Minister of Justice and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) will be the new Minister of Education.
The Greens want to announce their ministers at the start of their membership survey on the coalition agreement on Thursday. Party leader Habeck is being treated as the new super minister for climate and economy, co-party leader Baerbock could become the new foreign minister.
In addition to Scholz as Federal Chancellor, the SPD has his close confidante Wolfgang Schmidt as the new head of the Chancellery and Hubertus Heil as Minister of Labor. Many also expect Christine Lambrecht to become the first Minister of the Interior. Scholz left open who was the new health minister and thus the highest corona crisis manager.
“Corona is not defeated, unfortunately”
Before Scholz presented the coalition agreement, he first announced new corona measures on Wednesday. “Corona is not defeated, unfortunately,” said Scholz. “The situation is serious.” The traffic light will therefore set up a permanent federal-state crisis team in the Federal Chancellery. Scholz also wants to create an expert group with specialists from various fields. In addition, they want to drive the vaccination campaign forward and the previous corona measures will be reviewed soon.
Nursing staff should get a new bonus because of the particular stresses and strains of the Corona crisis. The future traffic light coalition partners have agreed to provide one billion euros for this, said Scholz.
The future Chancellor also spoke out in favor of compulsory vaccination in certain facilities with risk groups. “Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic.” In facilities in which particularly vulnerable groups are cared for, “we should make vaccination compulsory. An expansion of this regulation remains to be examined, “said Scholz and appealed urgently to the population:” Together we have it in our hands to break this terrible fourth wave. “
And so this historic day was one of the mixed feelings for the traffic light negotiators. On the one hand, in view of the steep rise in incidences and full intensive care units, the situation is more serious than perhaps never before during the pandemic.
On the other hand, the negotiators couldn’t quite suppress their feelings of happiness. When they arrived at Berlin’s Westhafen and Scholz was asked by the photographers to move to the center, the future Chancellor let himself be elicited at least a little joke. “Ah, in the progressive middle.”
More: You can read everything about the formation of a government in the Handelsblatt news blog