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After 16 years as Chancellor, Angela Merkel leaves the place this Wednesday to Olaf Scholz

A very long page in the history of Germany, but also of Europe, will turn this Wednesday with the departure of Angela Merkel. In Berlin, the Bundestag should indeed elect the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as chancellor, at the head of a new parity government.

The first woman to lead Germany, Angela Merkel will have remained in power 5,860 days, nine days short of the longevity record of her mentor, Helmut Kohl. At the end of a very codified process, the conservative leader will cede the reins of the first European economic power to, except surprise, Olaf Scholz, who will have been both a political opponent but also his vice-chancellor and finance minister.

A parity government

A little over two months after winning the legislative elections at the end of September, Scholz will be elected with his unprecedented coalition of three parties, formed much faster than expected, by the social democrats of the SPD with the Greens and the Liberals. A final step was taken on Monday with the green light given, at 86%, by environmentalists to participation in the coalition. The Social Democrats and the Liberals had already validated the government contract over the weekend.

The handover with Angela Merkel, who will see the center-left return to the helm of the country for the first time since Gerhard Schröder, will take place in the wake of the vote. For the first time, a parity government will then take office, with women appointed to key ministerial positions such as Foreign Affairs, the Interior or Defense.

” A new start “

Despite the unabated popularity of Angela Merkel after four terms, Olaf Scholz, who readily presents himself as his heir, intends to give new impetus to the country. “I want the 2020s to be those of a new beginning”, he said in the weekly The time, claiming to want to implement “the greatest industrial modernization” in recent history “capable of stopping man-made climate change”.

His government is also promising a very pro-EU policy aimed at “increasing the strategic sovereignty of the European Union” and better defending “common European interests”. The future head of diplomacy, environmentalist Annalena Baerbock, intends at the same time to take a harder line against authoritarian regimes like China or Russia. The former mayor of Hamburg should also reserve, like his predecessors, his first visit to France.

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