Chancellery, Finances and Super Ministry of Economy and Climate: the key positions of the new German government will fall to men | International

From left to right, Annalena Baerbock, Robert Habeck, Olaf Scholz, Christian Lindner and Volker Wissing, members of the future German tripartite government, last Wednesday in Berlin.FABRIZIO BENSCH (Reuters)

First the content; then the armchairs. Once the coalition agreement between the partners of the future tripartite has been signed, it is time to put a face on the ministers who will accompany the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz at the head of the first government after the Merkel era. Some positions still remain a mystery, but with names already known, a first conclusion can be drawn: key ministries will be occupied by men. Scholz will be the chancellor; the head of finance for the world’s fourth largest economy will be Christian Lindner, the leader of the Liberals; the new super-ministry for the Economy and the Climate which encompasses decisive areas such as energy will be in the hands of Robert Habeck, co-leader of the Greens. That he will also occupy the post of vice-chancellor. And a less media figure but just as relevant, that of the head of the Chancellery, with the rank of minister, will be for Wolfgang Schmidt, according to the German media.

That the ministries that manage power are in the hands of men does not mean that the government will not be equal. It is assumed that it will be. The Socialists got involved during the campaign, and the Greens demanded it too. Angela Merkel’s last executive was almost even, with seven women and nine men. In the newly formed Bundestag after the elections, 42% of Social Democratic deputies are women, while in the Greens they are 58%. The percentage is reduced in the case of the Liberals, to just 24%.

Failing to know the final tally of Scholz’s team – the Socialists have not yet revealed who will occupy the seven portfolios they agreed to in the coalition agreement – we already know who the other two formations will trust to the nine departments that correspond. for them. In the case of Los Verdes, three of the five ministries will be headed by women. The Liberals, with four executive positions, have appointed a woman, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, a 53-year-old economist, as education minister. Stark-Watzinger, barely known for having been in politics for a few years, was until 2017, when she became a member of the Bundestag, commercial director of a research institute in Frankfurt.

On two equally relevant portfolios, Interior and Defense, both social democrats, their holders are still unknown, although they may be held by women. The media speculate with Christine Lambrecht, 56, current Minister of Justice in the interim government of the grand coalition, for the Interior. Since Franziska Giffey’s resignation after an alleged plagiarism of her doctoral thesis, Lambrecht had also assumed the post of Minister for Families and is considered Scholz’s highest trust.

The new face of Germany in the world will be that of Annalena Baerbock, 40, co-leader of Los Verdes and candidate for the September elections, from whom she obtained the best historical result of her training, 14.8% of voice. She will be the first woman and also the youngest head of the Foreign Ministry, which already held a historic post in her party, Joschka Fischer, between 1998 and 2005, during Gerhard Schröder’s coalition with the Social Democrats.

The distribution of green portfolios in the next government has been rocky, with internal strife until hours before management revealed to affiliates on Thursday night who will be their next ministers. The media which had published their jackpots were surprised. It was assumed, for example, that Anton Hofreiter, chairman of the parliamentary group and one of the leaders of the coalition negotiations, would occupy a position in the new executive. The post entrusted to him, at the head of Food and Agriculture, will go to Cem Özdemir, 55, who will become the first German of Turkish origin to occupy a federal ministry.

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The internal conflicts between the two streams of Los Verdes are reminiscent of times past, when there was a gap between the slings (of fundamentalists), in favor of maintaining the founding principles of formation, and of Realize (realists), moderate and pragmatic ready to enter the political game to change things from the inside. It seems that after the coming to power of two moderates, Habeck and Baerbock, the slings they had practically disappeared from the formation. In the dispute between Hofreiter, representative of the left current and Özdemir, centrist, they won the Realize. But the other stream will have two representatives, Steffi Lemke, 53, who will be Minister of the Environment, and Anne Spiegel, 41, who will lead Familia. Three if we count Claudia Roth, who will be Secretary of State for Culture and the Media (Culture does not have the rank of ministry in Germany).

The agreement in the FDP was much less heated. Marco Buschmann, 44, secretary of the parliamentary group and very close to Lindner, will assume the Ministry of Justice. Volker Wissing, 51, general secretary of training, remains Transportes, which encompasses digital affairs, one of the strengths of the liberal electoral program. Lindner thus places his two close collaborators in the new government. Wissing played a key role in the tripartite negotiations.

Besides the Interior, which could be for Lambrecht, the Social Democrats have not yet revealed who will occupy the portfolios of Defense, Cooperation and Development, Housing and Health. It is assumed that the current acting labor minister, Hubertus Heil, 49, will resume his duties. The SPD and the Liberals will submit the coalition agreement to their federal congresses, which are expected in early December. Environmentalists are already submitting the content of the contract and the ministers elected by the management to the vote of their bases. The unprecedented tripartite is expected to take office the second week of December.

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