German parties sign coalition deal before handover of power

Designated German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (center), co-leader of the Greens and designated German Minister for Economy and Climate Robert Habeck (right), and leader of the free democratic FDP party and designated German Finance Minister Christian Lindner pose with copies of the coalition deal prior to a press conference following a signing ceremony in Berlin on Dec 7, 2021.
(ODD ANDERSEN / AFP)

BERLIN – Germany's Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats signed a coalition deal on Tuesday that sets out how to accelerate a green transition and modernise Europe's biggest economy when they take office this week.

READ MORE: Germany's Free Democrats back coalition agreement

The alliance between the unlikely bedfellows, the first such grouping at a national level, brings to an end 16 years of conservative-led government under Angela Merkel who did not stand for a fifth term in a September election.

The alliance between the unlikely bedfellows brings to an end 16 years of conservative-led government under Angela Merkel who did not stand for a fifth term in a September election

The SPD's Olaf Scholz is due to be elected chancellor by the Bundestag lower house of parliament and officially take office on Wednesday.

Under the logo "Dare More Progress", leading members of all three parties signed the 177-page agreement in front of television cameras.

"This should be a morning for a new start," Scholz said.

FDP leader Christian Lindner said the last few weeks had been about talking and now it was time for action.

"From this week we want to work on making progress. We are under no illusion, we face big challenges," he said.

ALSO READ: German parties push ahead in tricky quest for new coalition

The parties presented the agreement last month but needed members to approve it before signing it.