CDU, CSU and SPD sign coalition agreement

CDU, CSU and SPD sign coalition agreement

The contract was signed on Monday – now the new grand coalition wants to start work quickly. “A lot of work lies ahead,” says Chancellor Merkel. All sides had decided in the coalition negotiations to do this work as well. Photo: Britta Pedersen

Berlin/ dpa – The new edition of the GroKo will come. The tips of Union and SPD signed on Monday
the contract for their future government program. The new grand coalition wants to quickly take up its work after an unprecedented struggle to form a government and faces great challenges for Germany.

The leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD referred above all to the changes brought about by globalization and digitization as well as to the crisis in Europe. “A lot of work is ahead of us,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Monday at a joint press conference with the acting SPD chairman Olaf Scholz and CSU leader Horst Seehofer in Berlin.

All sides had made in the coalition negotiations to do this work, said Merkel. In addition, new challenges would be added, such as the punitive tariffs announced by US President Donald Trump, for which answers would have to be found. “I am optimistic that this will succeed,” Merkel said. The future Federal Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) promised: “This will be a good government.” CSU leader Horst Seehofer added: “And a social government.”

Almost half a year after the federal election with heavy losses for the three parties, the party and parliamentary leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD have signed at noon the 177-page coalition agreement. On Wednesday, Merkel is to be elected Chancellor for the fourth time in the Bundestag. Subsequently, Merkel and the ministers are sworn in.

Merkel said that much work had been done in view of the long government formation. She emphasized that in times of globalization and digitization it was about renewing the prosperity promise of the social market economy. The prosperity must arrive with all humans. The aim is to provide equal living conditions for people throughout Germany. Scholz said that people’s concerns about the future are a central theme of the new government. Many citizens are afraid for their own future. Scholz referred to the importance of continuing vocational training in times of digital change.

CSU leader Seehofer said that the Germans were now expecting a rapid implementation of the coalition agreement after months of negotiations. The agreements between the CDU, CSU and SPD reflected a social responsibility for society like no other coalition agreement before, said the designated Home and Home Secretary.

Seehofer referred among other things to agreed improvements in the pension, in the care and health care. In addition, precautionary measures are taken to secure jobs in order to reach the goal of full employment by 2025. The planned tax relief from the reduction in the solidarity surcharge would benefit 90 percent of the taxpayers.

The future Federal Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Scholz sees a solid foundation for the grand coalition despite the difficult formation of a government. “The fourth grand coalition in Germany has not started as a love marriage right from the start,” said Scholz. The Union and the SPD were and remain “fundamentally different parties”, but are “nevertheless able to work together constructively and to govern properly”.

The SPD wants to rule in order to increase social justice in Germany – “step by step, day by day,” said Scholz, who has provisionally taken over the party leadership of Martin Schulz. To the coalition agreement, the SPD with CDU and CSU struggled hard and it was good that with the end of the months of government formation, the “time of uncertainty” was over. In the SPD there are great reservations about another coalition with the Union, but a clear majority of the members voted in favor.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his relief at the conclusion of the government’s formation. “I’m glad that the time of uncertainty and uncertainty passes,” said Steinmeier on Monday in Dusseldorf. “The impatience grew during the last few weeks during the negotiations and the voting phase.”

The opposition parties voiced criticism of the new grand coalition. The contract has “large gaps just in the great future challenges,” said Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock. She specifically mentioned climate protection, digitalisation and the fight against poverty. FDP leader Christian Lindner criticized that there was no relief for the middle of society. “This whole coalition agreement breathes the spirit of an absolute state fixation.” The citizens speak only of the needy, the weak, the patients to be cared for. ”


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