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Germany: Free Democrats formally back coalition deal:
Two out of the three parties that will form Germany’s next government have now approved the agreement. After the FDP and Social Democrats, the result of the Green Party’s vote will be known Monday.
The neoliberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) on Sunday backed the coalition agreement negotiated with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party.At a special party conference in Berlin, some 92.4% of party members voted in favor of the deal. The decision brings acting Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz one step closer to taking the reins from Angela Merkel as Germany’s next chancellor next week.
FDP vows ‘centrist’ line
Party leader Christian Lindner, who is set to take over as Germany’s next finance minister, sought to allay the concerns of the FDP’s more conservative wing, describing the coalition agreement as one that pushes centrist policies.
The deal “does not push our country to the left, rather it wants to lead the country forward,” he said.
Before the vote, Lindner added, “I am convinced that this country will profit from this coalition.”
The vote was held with only key party officials physically present and the other participants joining online, due to COVID restrictions.
Key ministries secured
The center-left SPD, Greens, and FDP have been in talks for two months after the SPD emerged as the largest party following Germany’s election on September 26.
The approval of FDP members was widely expected as the party, which will be the smallest in the coalition, negotiated well and secured several key ministries.
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