GERMANY – An astonishing introduction. This Wednesday, November 24, Germany adopted a government almost two months after the general elections. In power, a “traffic light” coalition with the Greens, the Liberals (yellow) and the Social Democrats (red) under the leadership of Olaf Scholz. Their first announcement? The legalization of cannabis.
After parliamentary elections marked by a historic debacle for the conservative camp of Angela Merkel, the social democrat Olaf Scholz will become the next chancellor of the first European economy, in an unprecedented alliance with the Greens and the liberal FDP party.
Three key ministries have been allocated to these two formations. For the Greens, Foreign Affairs and a vast Ministry of Climate Protection and the Economy, while the FDP will be in charge of Finance. The names of the incumbents have not yet been announced, but some are already in the air: Annalena Baerbock, the Greens’ unsuccessful candidate for chancellery, diplomacy; Christian Lindner, head of PBF, on the stock exchange and environmental co-chair Robert Habeck, philosophy graduate and best-selling writer, for the environment.
The three parties signed a coalition “contract” entitled “Daring for more progress. Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability ”and which gives pride of place to environmental protection, in particular with an anticipated phase-out of coal in 2030, compared to 2038 previously. Another measure announced in the wake: their desire to legalize cannabis.
Germany had already given the green light in 2017 to medical cannabis. Legalization is therefore a further step.
“We are introducing the controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores,” announces the government contract presented by the three coalition parties.
This mini-revolution in the country “will make it possible to control the quality, to prevent the transmission of contaminated substances and to guarantee the protection of the youth”, specifies the document, adding that “the social impact of the law” would be evaluated after four years.
The new coalition between Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals also wants to develop drug-checking operations, intended to verify that drugs are not cut with other substances.
Among the other flagship measures, which the new unprecedented team in power in Germany, wants to implement include the return to budgetary rigor from 2023.
Olaf Scholz, 63, who is to be made chancellor in early December by members of the Bundestag, must now present this agreement to the press. Germany will then turn the page on the Merkel years, which has only been in charge of day-to-day business for a month.
The result of a compromise, the “coalition contract” between the three parties defines all the economic, environmental and societal reforms that the next government, whose composition will soon be known, will implement.
It was developed in record time: after exploratory discussions, Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals got to the heart of the matter on October 21 with the establishment of more than 20 working groups.
The very night of the elections, all had shown their will to go quickly not to repeat the scenario of 2017 when Angela Merkel took more than five months to form her government, paralyzing Europe.
See also on The HuffPost: Angela Merkel attends the new Bundestag session from the stands
With the daily HuffPost newsletter, receive the most important news and the best articles of the day by email.
Find out more