Scholz replaces Merkel as German chancellor, opening new era

New elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds his letter of appointment presented by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a reception at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Scholz has become Germany's ninth post-
Image Icon
The Associated PressNew elected German Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds his letter of appointment presented by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a reception at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. Scholz has become Germany’s ninth post-World War II chancellor, opening a new era for the European Union’s most populous nation and largest economy after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure. Scholz’s government takes office with high hopes of modernizing Germany and combating climate change but faces the immediate challenge of handling the country’s toughest phase yet of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN — Center-left leader Olaf Scholz became Germany’s ninth post-World War II chancellor Wednesday, opening a new era for the European Union’s most populous nation and largest economy after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure.

Scholz’s government takes office with high hopes of modernizing Germany and combating climate change but faces the immediate challenge of handling the country’s toughest phase yet of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers voted by 395-303 with six abstentions to elect Scholz — a comfortable majority, though short of the 416 seats his three-party coalition holds in the 736-seat lower house of parliament. That’s not unusual when chancellors are elected, and some lawmakers were out sick or in quarantine.

Merkel, who is no longer a member of parliament, looked on from the spectators’ gallery as parliament voted. Lawmakers gave her a standing ovation.

Scholz, 63, Germany’s vice chancellor and finance minister since 2018, brings a wealth of experience and discipline to an untried coalition of his center-left Social Democrats, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats. The three parties are portraying the combination of former rivals as a progressive alliance that will bring new energy to the country after Merkel’s near-record time in office.

“We are venturing a new departure, one that takes up the major challenges of this decade and well beyond that,” Scholz said Tuesday. If the parties succeed, he added, “that is a mandate to be reelected together at the next election.”

Scholz, an unflappable and supremely self-confident figure who in the past has displayed an ability to put aside setbacks quickly, cracked a smile as he was elected and as he was formally appointed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The new chancellor then returned to parliament to be sworn in. Scholz, who has no religious affiliation, omitted the optional phrase “so help me God” from his oath of office, as did Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder.

Merkel has said she won’t seek another political role. The 67-year-old hasn’t disclosed any future plans but said earlier this year that she will take time to read and sleep, “and then let’s see where I show up.”

Scholz’s style has often been likened to Merkel’s, although they are from different parties. Like the former chancellor, he isn’t given to public displays of emotion or rousing speeches. The former labor minister and Hamburg mayor has portrayed himself in recent months both as her natural successor and an agent of change, and fashions himself as a strong leader.

The new government aims to step up efforts against climate change by expanding the use of renewable energy and bringing Germany’s exit from coal-fired power forward from 2038, “ideally” to 2030. It also wants to do more to modernize the country of 83 million people, including improving its notoriously poor cellphone and internet networks.

It also plans more liberal social policies, including legalizing the sale of cannabis for recreational purposes and easing the path to German citizenship while pledging greater efforts to deport immigrants who don’t win asylum.

The government also plans to increase Germany’s minimum wage and to get hundreds of thousands new new apartments built in an effort to curb rising rental prices.

Scholz has signaled continuity in foreign policy, saying the government will stand up for a strong European Union and nurture the trans-Atlantic alliance. The government said that he will make his first trip abroad with a trip to Paris on Friday – maintaining a tradition for German chancellors – and plans to travel to Brussels the same day to meet EU and NATO leaders.

His three-party alliance brings both opportunities and risks for all the participants, perhaps most of all the Greens. After 16 years in opposition, they will have to prove that they can achieve their overarching aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions while working with partners who may have other priorities.

Green co-leader Robert Habeck will be Scholz’s vice chancellor, heading a revamped economy and climate ministry. The government’s No. 3 official will be Christian Lindner, the finance minister and leader of the Free Democrats, who insisted that the coalition reject tax hikes and looser curbs on running up debt.

“It won’t be easy to keep three different parties together,” Schroeder, who led Germany from 1998 to 2005 as the country’s last center-left chancellor, told Phoenix television. “But I think Olaf Scholz has the patience, but also the determination, to manage it.”

The incoming government is portraying itself as a departure in both style and substance from the “grand coalitions” of Germany’s traditional big parties that Merkel led for all but four years of her tenure, with the Social Democrats as junior partners.

In those tense alliances, the partners sometimes seemed preoccupied mostly with blocking each other’s plans. Merkel’s final term saw frequent infighting, some of it within her own center-right Union bloc, until the pandemic hit. She departs with a legacy defined largely by her acclaimed handling of a series of crises, rather than any grand visions for Germany.

The agreement to form a coalition government between three parties that had significant differences before the election was reached relatively quickly and in unexpected harmony. That will now be tested by the reality of governing; Scholz has acknowledged that dealing with the pandemic “will demand all our strength and energy.”

German federal and state leaders last week announced tough new restrictions that largely target unvaccinated people. In a longer-term move, parliament will consider a general vaccine mandate. Germany has seen daily COVID-19 infections rise to record levels this fall, though they may now be stabilizing, and hospitals are feeling the strain.

“People are hoping that you…will show leadership and take the right measures,” President Steinmeier told the newly appointed Cabinet. “What matters is not listening to the loudest, but ensuring that the pandemic doesn’t keep us firmly in its grip for another year and that public life can once again become a matter of course.”

———

Follow AP’s coverage of Germany’s transition to a new government at https://apnews.com/hub/germany-election, and stories on climate change issues at https://apnews.com/hub/Climate

News Related

OTHER NEWS

GM Plans Electric Motor Components Production In Western New York

© insideEvs.com Copyright GM Ultium Platform: an electric motor’s stator The company will invest $154 Million in its Western New York Lockport Components plant. General Motors announced announced a nearly ... Read more »

St. Hilaire leads New Orleans over Northwestern St. 85-77

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Derek St. Hilaire had 29 points as New Orleans defeated Northwestern State 85-77 on Saturday. Troy Green had 16 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans ... Read more »

Mum left outraged after her mother-in-law 'fat-shamed' her toddler

A furious mum has sought advice online after her mother-in-law repeatedly ‘fat-shamed’ her 19-month-old toddler. Detailing the situation on parenting platform Mumsnet, the angered woman claims her mother-in-law commented on ... Read more »

Bengals kicker Evan McPherson called his shot on game-winning field goal, Joe Burrow says

Evan McPherson, the Bengals’ rookie kicker many refer to as “Money Mac,” kicked three first-half field goals against the Titans to give Cincinnati a 9-6 lead at the half in ... Read more »

S. Dakota St. stays perfect in Summit; topples W. Illinois

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) — Baylor Scheierman scored 17 points and Zeke Mayo and Douglas Wilson scored 15 apiece and South Dakota State remained unbeaten in Summit League play beating Western ... Read more »

The Latest: Barty, Nadal on court on Day 7 Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest at the Australian Open on Sunday (all times local): 11:35 a.m. Play has started on Day 7 at the Australian Open and the temperature ... Read more »

Davis scores 16 to lead SC State over UMES 69-60

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) — Jemel Davis had 16 points and eight rebounds as South Carolina State beat Maryland Eastern Shore 69-60 on Saturday. Antonio TJ Madlock had 13 points ... Read more »

Asadullah leads Lipscomb over Kennesaw State 77-73

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ahsan Asadullah tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds to help Lipscomb hold on for a 77-73 victory over Kennesaw State on Saturday. Will Pruitt had 18 ... Read more »

I get a kick out of watching people have sex but my girlfriend doesn't

DEAR DEIDRE: FOR two years I’ve enjoyed an exciting sex life with my girlfriend, but now she has admitted she doesn’t genuinely share my love of the voyeur sex scene.  ... Read more »

Ghislaine Maxwell is ‘learning Russian behind bars to keep sane' as she faces life in jail for child sex trafficking

GHISLAINE Maxwell is “learning Russian behind bars to keep sane” as she faces spending the rest of her life in jail for child sex trafficking. Predator Maxwell, 60, has been ... Read more »

Terrifying moment mum, 40, is swept away after leaping into frozen river in Russia as her kids scream in horror

THIS is the terrifying moment a mum-of-two was swept away after leaping into a frozen river in Russia – as her kids watched in horror. The woman, 40, jumped into ... Read more »

I caught my husband looking at saucy videos of other women – people think I'm out of order for spying but I don't care

A WOMAN caught her husband red handed as he watched saucy videos of other women on the internet. The wife recorded her hubby scrolling on the sofa from a first ... Read more »

Fugitive ‘sex offender' who faked his death before being caught in hospital was ‘given away by his tattoos'

A FUGITIVE accused sex offender who faked his own death was eventually given away by his tattoos, a court was told. American Nicholas Alahverdian, 34, who has used 16 aliases ... Read more »

I bought two Amazon return pallets for £24 – they had £365 of goodies, including a new TV stand & £75 face cream

A SAVVY woman revealed that she bagged £365 of goodies after purchasing two returns pallets for £24. The YouTuber, who buys pallets in order to profit from their returned contents, shared ... Read more »

My daughter uninvited me from her wedding because I joked her wedding dress should be GREEN

A CONCERNED mum explained that her oldest daughter had banned her from her wedding because she accused her of being jealous of her sister and said she “may as well ... Read more »

Polizei verhindert Treff von dutzenden Autoposern in Winterthur ZH

© KEYSTONE/GAETAN BALLY Die Polizei hat in Winterthur ZH am Samstagabend laut eigenen Angaben ein Treffen von mehreren Dutzend Autoposern aus verschiedenen Kantonen verhindert. Die Beamten legten bei der Kontrolle ... Read more »

Bengals rookie K Evan McPherson had a great, confident prediction before winning kick

Whatever has gotten into the Cincinnati Bengals, their confidence has trickled down to the kicker too.  The Bengals, who before this postseason hadn’t won a playoff game in three decades, ... Read more »

Ryan Tannehill’s Last-Minute Interception Dooms Titans

© Provided by Sports Illustrated The Tennessee quarterback threw three critical interceptions against the Bengals, the last one coming in the final 30 seconds of the game. View the original ... Read more »

Brits' favourite colour for their lucky undies revealed – do you have a pair?

BLUE undies are luckiest, say superstitious Brits. A third of us admit owning a pair of “lucky pants”, often worn on first dates and to meetings and sporting events. Blue ... Read more »

Oil spill tars Peruvian seaside towns, leaves fishermen jobless

© Cris BOURONCLE The boats of fishermen who cannot fish after an oil spill, in the town of Ancon, Peru on January 21, 2022 Thousands of barrels of crude oil ... Read more »

Wanted man ‘taunts' police on Facebook by saying how good looking he looks in mugshot

A WANTED man has appeared to taunt police on social media by saying how good looking he seems in his mugshot. Michael Swansborough, 31, is being hunted for a parole ... Read more »

Packers out to 7-0 lead after first possession

The Packers have scored the first points of Saturday night’s divisional round playoff game against the 49ers. Green Bay opened up with the ball on their 31-yard-line and they drove ... Read more »

Vladimir Putin ‘plans to install Russian stooge to run Ukraine'

VLADIMIR Putin plans to install a Russian stooge to run Ukraine as his troops prepare for a possible invasion, it was claimed yesterday. Britain took the unusual step of naming ... Read more »

Inside Dani Dyer's first birthday party for son Santi with prosecco wall, ball pits and giant cake

LOVE Island winner Dani Dyer celebrated her son Santiago's birthday in style today with a huge party. The reality TV star laid on bottomless Prosecco, a DJ and a visit ... Read more »

World Bank clears Rs 1000-crore loan for Bengal, says state government

© Provided by The Indian Express THE WORLD Bank has approved a loan of around Rs 1,000 crore ($125 million) for the West Bengal government, a government statement said on ... Read more »

Bengal: Woman ‘molested' in reserved compartment of moving train

© Provided by The Indian Express A woman was allegedly molested inside the ladies’ compartment of a moving suburban train. It was alleged that the accused molested her a second ... Read more »

PM Modi to unveil Nejati Subhash Chandra Bose's hologram statue at India Gate today

© Provided by DNA Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be unveiling a hologram statue of renowned freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at the India Gate on Sunday, January 23, ... Read more »

Was Zac Taylor trying to call timeout before game-changing interception?

© Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK The timeout that Zac Taylor didn’t get ended up benefitting the Bengals. The Cincinnati Bengals pulled out a miracle victory in the final ... Read more »

‘Deeply concerning': US on alleged Russia plot to install pro-Kremlin leader in Ukraine

© Provided by Hindustan Times Dozens of civilians have been joining Ukraine’s army reserves in recent weeks amid fears about Russian invasion. (AP) The White House on Saturday called the ... Read more »

Isko vows to appoint officials based on merits, not affiliations

Isko warns against politicians giving money in rallies Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said he would appoint officials based on merits and qualifications — and not political affiliations — if ever ... Read more »

CDC to 'pivot its language' on COVID-19 vaccines

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it will ‘pivot’ its language when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, meaning that all who are eligible will need ... Read more »

Ducks' trade-deadline strategy still developing

The Anaheim Ducks are one of the teams in the NHL still without a full-time general manager. After Bob Murray’s resignation earlier this season, Jeff Solomon is working as an interim ... Read more »

Lee carries Houston Baptist over Texas A&M-CC 77-71

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Darius Lee tied his season high with 25 points as Houston Baptist defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 77-71 on Saturday. Sam Hofman had 18 points and ... Read more »

Who me? Japan's Sena Tomita wins a Winter X Games gold

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Japan’s Sena Tomita thought it was a mistake when they placed the gold medal around her neck. The 22-year-old halfpipe rider won her first Winter X ... Read more »

Liquid debut Hans Sama-CoreJJ duo, sweep FlyQuest in 2022 LCS Lock In quarterfinals

© Provided by Dot Esports Ever since Team Liquid announced its full League of Legends roster for the 2022 season, fans have been preparing for the debut of one of ... Read more »

8-Year-Old Chicago Girl Killed by Stray Bullet to the Head

© Provided by The Daily Beast Getty An 8-year-old girl was fatally shot in Chicago on Saturday as she walked on a sidewalk with her mother. Police say she and ... Read more »

Underdogs NEW Esports prevail in marathon ALGS EMEA Playoff series

© Provided by Dot Esports NEW Esports won a marathon 10-game series in the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) today. The underdog squad rose to the top of the EMEA ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi to unveil hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate today

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the hologram statue of the legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate on Sunday ... Read more »

ICC U-19 World Cup: Raj Bawa, Angkrish Raghuvanshi hit centuries as India thrash Uganda by 326 runs

© Provided by Zee News Centuries by Raj Bawa and Angkrish Raghuvanshi were backed up by a dominant bowling performance as India thrashed Uganda by 326 runs in their final ... Read more »

UConn men’s hockey defeats UNH in overtime, 3-2

© Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog UConn men’s hockey got a badly-needed 3-2 victory in overtime on Saturday to avoid a sweep at the hands of the New Hampshire Wildcats. The ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic