Germany, the government contract “traffic light”: from the climate to a minimum wage and legal cannabis. Finances to the hawk Fdp: a bad sign for the EU

“The traffic light is there”: with these words Olaf Scholz presented to the press the government contract of the new coalition among his Spd, i gave e Fdp. What is missing is the blessing of the agreement by the congresses of the three parties, which will arrive in maximum 10 days, then Germany will have a new executive the social democratic leader will be able to become chancellor, putting an end to the era of Angela Merkel. It will be the first time of a traffic light coalition – in the color of the three parties – at the helm of the country: a government shifted further to the left, as evidenced by the inclusion of the minimum salary a 12 euro and of legalization of cannabis in the government contract. But if someone expected a turnaround also in the European equilibrium, they risk being disappointed: the Ministry of Finance will be up to the free, most likely to the leader of the FDP Christian Lindner. That is a fervent supporter ofausterity he was born in Stability pact.

The traffic light coalition wants “a Europe more sovereign“, Said Chancellor in pectore Scholz, presenting the coalition contract of the future German government. “Promoting, pushing and carrying forward European sovereignty” will be our task, he added. He dreamed of a different beginning, instead the Covid emergency will inevitably be the first point on the agenda of the new executive, which announces its intention to establish a permanent crisis team and a panel of stationery experts to address the pandemic. Scholz, however, has not given up on addressing issues beyond the coronavirus: we will carry out “high-impact policies”, he said, referring in particular to the raising of the minimum salary and the ambitious goals in the fight against climate change. The social democratic leader announced “a decade of investment”For Germany.

The contents of the contract
The next government in Germany provides “ideally” exit from coal by 2030, in advance of the 2038. The coalition agreement reached by the SPD, liberals and the Greens, also provides that, by 2030, the80 percent of the electricity consumed comes from renewables. The target set to date is instead 65 per cent. The three parties also agreed on the introduction of the minimum wage of 12 euros per hour (currently the threshold is € 9.60). You can vote from 16 years for federal and European elections. The limit for i will be removed migrants admitted under the reunification of refugee families. The new government also intends legalize the regulated sale of the cannabis, through “a controlled distribution of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed shops”. Thus there will be “a control of the quality“, Avoiding contamination with other substances, and the“ protection of minors ”will be ensured.

“We have paved the way for us to become one of the largest industrial countries in the world with climate neutrality”And this will be“ a paradigm shift”Which concerns various sectors: environment, industry, transport, international cooperation and security policies. The leader of the Greens said it, Annalena Baerbock. The ecological co-leader Robert Habeck he added: on the climate “we want to identify concrete measures that we can achieve ”and not as the Grosse Koalition did in the past“ appoint ever more ambitious goals ”and then actually leave them on paper. For example “we want to strengthen and expand renewable energiesAnd work on emission certificates and the exit from coal-fired energy, added the ecologist. Also, the liberal added Christian Lindner, “we will digitize this State “.

Finances in the hands of Lindner
“No minister will be a minister of a party, the Social Democrats, the Greens or the Liberals, but we will need Germany ”, the Fdp leader also said. There Spd – which will be expressed by the chancellor, Olaf Scholz – will have control over the Interior, Defense, Salute, Work, Economic Cooperation, Construction. To the gave they will go on super minister which combines Economy and Climate, and those of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Agriculture and Families. THE free they will assume the leadership of the dicasteries of the Finances, Transport, Education and Justice. This means that Lindner will be the new finance minister. And, beyond the ritual declarations, the choice already gives a direction well accurate to the strategy that Germany will carry out in the coming months in Europe, when it will face the negotiations on a possible revision of the budgetary limits included in the Stability pact, suspended until 2023 due to the pandemic. Lindner, in fact, is very loyal to austerity and has already obtained that the future government respects the debt brake provided for by the constitution starting from 2023.

It is very likely that the same line also in Europe, given that in the past years he has been highly critical of the budgetary policies of the Southern countries and still in recent days has repeatedly reiterated that the Recovery Fund it was an exception due to the pandemic, so it will have to remain. Linder’s positions have attracted criticism even from the Nobel Prize Joseph E. Stiglitz, which together with Adam Tooze, an economic historian and professor at Columbia University, wrote an article in the weekly The time entitled: “It would be an error grant him his wish “. That is to have Lindner as finance minister. “It would be disastrous for Italy. It would be bad for Europe. And it would be bad for Germany ”, write Stiglitz and Tooze. The reason? “Lindner’s economics – on the debt brake or on tax rules for Europe – is a series of conservative clichés“. Furthermore, they write, “are the clichés of a bygone era: the 90’s. We are no longer in the world they were born in ”. In between there were three decades of crisis, financial, geopolitical and environmental, even health: “What seems clear – continue the two economists – is that large-scale public investment is fundamental and that the relaunch of the Maastricht Treaty, ratified in 1992, it is not the solution“.

A return to the past, Stiglitz and Tooze conclude, “is a crash test that neither Germany nor Europe can afford ”. Yet what we read in the coalition contract does not bode well: “The stability and growth pact has shown its flexibility. On this basis, we want to ensure growth, maintain the sustainability of debt and ensure sustainable and climate-friendly investments. The further development of the rules of fiscal policy should be based on these goals in order to strengthen its effectiveness facing the challenges of time. The Pact should become simpler and more transparent, also in order to strengthen it the application”. Few words, a lot of vagueness. As in the Next Generation EU: “It is one limited tool in terms of weather and quantity and we want the reconstruction program to achieve one quick recovery and far-sighted after the crisis throughout Europe “.

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