Germany: Social Democratic rival Merkel appointed Vice-Chancellor
Berlin (AFP) – The leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel will load the delicate issue of the energy transition in the new government of “grand coalition” led by Angela Merkel, partly unveiled Sunday afternoon.
Also responsible for the Economy and carrier honorary Vice-Chancellor, Mr Gabriel attempt to impose a social inflection, in a government where continuity will prevail in the management of the euro crisis. Germany has recently been widely criticized for being too tight belt in recent years to the detriment of exports of its partners.
The Social Democratic Party, Conservative ally for four years, announced early Sunday afternoon portfolios reserved for it in the new government.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier find including the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs he held during the first term of Merkel (2005-2009), already in a “grand coalition”.
Hollow, it was confirmed that the Conservatives kept the Finance retained with reasonable certainty by the outgoing Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
With the position of Chancellor Christian Unions (CDU / CSU, Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union), arrived well ahead of legislative elections on Sept. 22 with 41.5% of the vote, so had the main policy levers German.
Thus, “the management of the euro crisis is first in the Chancery and then she gets to Finance”, stressed Sunday AFP Claire Demesmay, expert of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), a center of Berlin reflection. She expected a continuation of German politics, especially the SPD has “supported the previous government in virtually all measures of crisis management.”
“The SPD renounces the Department of Finance. This is the most important after the chancellor position,” raised the great Munich daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
However, she Demesmay expected “inflections that will come from domestic politics” with additional costs “for infrastructure or social policy.” According to her, it “will necessarily have an impact on European politics and the situation in neighboring countries.”
At the head of the Ministry of Labour, the Secretary General of the SPD, Andrea Nahles will be responsible in particular for realizing the main social Advanced coalition agreement: the establishment of a universal minimum wage, set at 8.50 Euros per time.
The improvement of small pensions and a mechanism for limiting the rise in rents also are on the agenda of the new government.
German business circles and much of the press were very critical expenditures and investments estimated at € 23 billion by 2017.
The conservative daily Die Welt Sunday lambasted “a group led by the right that leads a government policy which is “costly” to Germany left. ”
Mr. Gabriel, who could challenge Merkel in the next election in 2017, taking a risk in choosing to take responsibility for the energy transition, one of the biggest projects of Germany for years to come, and one of the most delicate, also felt the newspaper.
This transition forced march is a consequence of the abandonment of nuclear decided in 2011 by Chancellor Angela Merkel after the Fukushima disaster.
“This is a huge task,” admitted Mr. Sunday Gabriel, who was in charge of the Environment in the first Merkel government.
It needs to combine development of renewable energy and maintaining reasonable for households and businesses prices, while building the missing infrastructure for electricity transmission and stem rising emissions of greenhouse gases observed for two years.
More symbolically, the SPD chose Ms. Aydan Özuguz to be Secretary of State in the Chancellery responsible for Migration, Refugees and Integration. She became the first woman of Turkish origin to be part of a German government.
After weeks of sometimes tense negotiations, the coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Social Democrats concluded in late November, was approved on Saturday by members of the SPD by a very large majority (76%) in an internal referendum.
Christian Unions CDU / CSU Chancellor should reveal the positions they have achieved in the new government Sunday at 5:15 p.m. GMT.