German government at halfway point

Germany today on Diplomacy Pakistan News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union) and Deputy Chancellor Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party) have drawn up a positive assessment of the governing coalition’s work as of the halfway point.

Of the 300 planned major measures, two-thirds had been completed or were on that path, Merkel said Wednesday in her office when receiving the annual report on the economy by the country’s Council of Economic Experts.

“This shows that we are capable of work and willing to work,” Merkel said.

Scholz said that major progress had been made in the areas of social security, family policy and the issue of housing and rental costs. But Scholz, who is Finance Minister, added: “There is still work to be done.” Among others, he mentioned dismantling of temporal limitations of employment contracts.

Neither Scholz nor Merkel mentioned the ongoing dispute over the issue of a basic pension scheme. The chancellor said the coalition was investing in the future and pointed to support for families and a series of measures for housing construction. At the same time she cited such challenges as climate protection, changes in mobility, the digital transformation and upheavals in the employment sector.

Scholz said what was at stake was mastering the structural changes – his words echoing the title of the annual report of the Council of Economic Experts. The finance minister cited the expansion of electro-mobility and renewable energy as well as digitalisation.

In the introduction to the 84-page halftime report, the grand coalition – CDU, SPD and the Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union – signalled that it plans to continue on: “Together with the parliament factions of the CDU/CSU and SPD we have achieved and carried out a great deal – but there still remains much more to do.”

The coalition’s assessment was structured according to the chapters of the coalition agreement of March, 2018. The report card listed all the measures which as of early November 2019 had gone into effect or were now being worked on in parliament.