Olaf Scholz officially became the new Chancellor of Germany, replacing Angela Merkel in this post. The government under his leadership will be three-party for the first time. How ministerial portfolios are distributed in it – in the material of RBC
Olaf Scholz poses with his cabinet
On December 8, the representative of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Olaf Scholz, was sworn in as the new chancellor of the FRG. In the government he leads, formed by the traffic light coalition (according to the corporate colors of its political parties), there will also be representatives of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) and the Greens & mdash; a total of 16 cabinet members. This is one more than under Angela Merkel, since the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection appeared. The Co-Chair of the Greens became Vice-Chancellor Robert Habek.
The members of the ruling coalition distributed ministerial posts as follows: the SPD got six portfolios, the Greens & mdash; five, FDP & mdash; four. At the initiative of Scholz, positions in the new cabinet were divided equally between men and women.
The new government will be slightly younger than all previous cabinets, with the 63-year-old chancellor becoming the oldest member of the government. The youngest ministers & mdash; for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Anne Spiegel and Annelena Berbock, ex-Greens candidate for Chancellor and head of the Foreign Ministry. They are 40 years old.
Scholz's confidant at the head of the staff
Wolfgang Schmidt, an associate and confidant of Scholz, who has worked for him for the past twenty years, has been appointed head of the chancellery and minister for special assignments. Their paths converged in Hamburg, where Scholz began his political career and, like Schmidt, worked for some time as a lawyer. The new head of the Chancellery previously held the post of Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, which was headed by Scholz, and will now continue to coordinate the work of his staff at a higher level.
Schmidt is known in political circles as a good political strategist and a person who knows how to do behind-the-scenes work. Such professional qualities are in demand when coordinating the activities of the government, which for the first time consists of representatives of three parties. Stern magazine suggests that with the arrival of Schmidt, the post of head of the Chancellery will become more significant than during the times of his predecessors in the Merkel governments.
Critics of Russia at the head of the Ministry of Defense and the Foreign Ministry
The post of defense minister is also traditionally held by a representative of the leading coalition party. This time, the portfolio went to Christine Lambrecht, who previously held the post of Minister of Justice. Thus, the tradition of appointing women to the Ministry of Defense, which was previously headed by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, and before her by Ursula von der Leyen (now the head of the European Commission), continued. Since 2020, Lambrecht has taken a rather tough stance towards Russia: she has repeatedly called on the Kremlin to investigate the incident with opposition leader Alexei Navalny (it was the Ministry of Justice that was responsible for the fate of Russian requests for mutual legal assistance on this issue). Lambrecht also sharply criticized the arrests during peaceful protests in Russia and the harassment of journalists. In her opinion, such actions violate the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of Russia.
Annalena Berbock received the first ever ministerial portfolio and will be responsible for the foreign policy of Germany. This position has been promised to her since the summer, when the government of the “ traffic light '' under the leadership of the SPD began to seem like the real outcome of the coalition negotiations. At the same time, Russian experts argued that her arrival at the German Foreign Ministry would complicate the dialogue with Moscow. This position is explained by the fact that Berbokne is only an opponent of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. and a hardliner on Russia, but also an avid defender of human rights. In particular, she spoke out in support of the human rights society Memorial. (recognized by the Russian authorities as a foreign agent) when the Russian Prosecutor General's Office demanded its closure, noting that such decisions would only alienate Russia from the “ European canon of values ''. Nevertheless, she also spoke about the need to withdraw US nuclear arsenals from Germany and that Ukraine's membership in NATO – not a prospect for the near future.
Media epidemiologist at the head of the Ministry of Health
Epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach took over as Minister of Health. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, he has become one of the most recognizable media figures & mdash; his statements regularly appeared on the front pages of the media, and the person & mdash; on TV screens. Unlike his predecessor Jens Spahn, Lauterbach is deeply immersed in the specifics of the fight against coronavirus, regularly reads new scientific papers on the topic of vaccination and the characteristics of the spread of diseases. This approach became the key to his success & mdash; Lauterbach always backs his point of view with verified data. He is a tough supporter of the pandemic who regularly spotted the failures of his predecessor Spahn. In many ways, Lauterbach's radical position made him an ambiguous personality: he has many supporters and opponents, even in the ranks of his own party.
Environmentalist on climate protection
Robert Habek, who, like Berbock, is the leader of the Green Party, along with the position of Vice-Chancellor, received a new Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection ” its creation was one of the main pre-election projects of environmentalists and a condition for joining the coalition. The decision to make him vice-chancellor is explained by the fact that Berbock could not live up to the hopes of her party members and, due to a series of personal mistakes, turned from the leader of the pre-election race to the rear one. Both co-chairs of the Greens nevertheless indicated that the final distribution of posts was by mutual agreement. Habek will have to deal with a priority for the Greens a challenge, namely the transformation of the German economy into an “ environmentally friendly '' one. Thus, Russia, the largest supplier of energy resources in Germany, will have to conduct a dialogue on the 'green' agenda. a transition with a department headed by a man who can also be called a critic of the Kremlin, albeit a more moderate one than Berbock. However, it was Khabek who initiated the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
The Ministry of Finance in the “ free '' hands
The head of the FDP Christian Linder realized in the summer that his party, regardless of who wins the elections, is likely to enter the government. Then, as a condition for the FDP to join the coalition, he designated the receipt of the portfolio of the Minister of Finance. Linder is known for bringing liberals back to the Bundestag in 2017 & mdash; then his party was able to overcome the 5 percent barrier, and in the 2021 elections & mdash; 10 percent. After the elections, Linder advocated the formation of a ruling coalition led by the Christian Democratic Union, including because of good personal relations with the candidate for Chancellor Armin Lashet, but changed his mind after the first stage of negotiations.
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