What happened at the new German government’s first day in office?
Germany’s new government of center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and business-oriented Free Democrats (FDP) has vowed to “Dare to Make More Progress.” But the battle to curb COVID-19 is the most pressing issue. The new German Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach(SPD), spoke of this being Germany’s biggest health crisis since World War II. “It is quite clear to me that this will be the most difficult task of my life as well,” Lauterbach said.The number of new infections is rising to dizzying heights and more than 100,000 people have already died with the virus in Germany so far. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), has set up a permanent coronavirus crisis team to report to the government on a daily basis. It is made up of national and regional politicians, as well as virologists, epidemiologists, sociologists, and psychologists. The new government wants to continue Germany’s previous efforts to create a “strong, sovereign and open European Union,” Chancellor Scholz said. His foreign trip after taking office will take him to Paris this Friday (Dec. 10, 2021) to meet with President Emmanuel Macron on how to proceed with EU policy. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock(Greens) already traveled to France on Wednesday before moving on to Brussels, and the Polish capital Warsaw on Friday. According to its coalition agreement, the new German government wants to strengthen the powers of the EU Parliament and adopt a tougher line against any violation of the rule of law by EU member states such as Poland and Hungary. The Scholz government also wants to forge greater cooperation between national armies with joint command structures and a joint civil-military headquarters. The new governemnt also reaffirmed its support for Ukraine in light of growing pressure from Russia.