German parties have agreed to a coalition deal that will see the end of Angela Merkel’s 16 years as Chancellor and a new government formed by December.
The leaders of the centre-left Social Democrats, environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats put forward a 177-page document that took around 300 negotiators two months to nut out.
The agreement marks a departure from Ms Merkel’s conservative-led coalition government’s agenda, with a push towards renewable energy, new targets for electric vehicle rollouts and a plan for phase out coal by 2030, which is eight years ahead of the previous goal.
It will be the first federal alliance between the three parties and is known as a traffic light coalition on account of the colours adopted by the three parties – red for the Free Democrats (FDP), yellow for the Social Democrats (SPD) and green for the Greens.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, SPD leader Olaf Scholz – the man expected to become the next Chancellor – spoke of the first traffic light in Germany that was erected on a street in Berlin in 1924.
“At that time, it was still an unusual technology – ‘Can it work?’ people asked sceptically,” he said while flanked by the FDP and Greens leaders.
“Today, the traffic light is indispensable when it comes to regulating things clearly and providing the right orientation and ensuring that everyone moves forward safely and smoothly.
“My ambition as Chancellor is that this traffic light alliance will play a similarly groundbreaking role for German.”
The agreement will still need to be ratified by members of each party before the government can be properly formed, but all three hope to have that achieved by the start of next month.
More to come.