So things are currently moving along slowly, but completely within normal parameters.
The Green Party, the FDP and the SPD have finished their pre-negotiation talks and are now proceeding to the negotiation stage.
All signs indicate that the next government of Germany will be the "traffic light" version: A little bit of moderate left, a little bit environmental, and a little bit economically liberal.
Not the worst outcome really.
The main question then would be which party will provide the vice chancellor. Traditionally, the vice chancellor would have been a member of the smaller of the two parties that formed the government coalition, with the larger party's chancellor candidate obviously being elected as chancellor. But now there will supposedly be two "smaller" parties in the government, in addition to a "large" one. So... are they going to draw sticks? Throw dice? Or will there be a second vice chancellor?
The SPD, the FDP and the Greens have finished negotiating their coalition treaty. Now the respective party bases have to approve the treaty. Once that has been done, the treaty can finally be signed, and and the parties can begin appointing their members to the various cabinet positions.
So, yesterday it finally happened. After all three parties' members had voted with vast majorities in favor of the coalition treaty, they signed it, the cabinet members were appointed, and Olaf Scholz was elected as the new chancellor.
I've seen a bunch of analysis of the coalition treaty, and at least from an employee standpoint, it sounds pretty good overall. Not a big leap, but a number of smaller improvements. Above all, a firm "yes" to a minimum wage of 12 Euros. Which will hopefully result in a severe rise of average wages.
The cabinet is very fascinating too. Karl Lauterbach (SPD), a professional medic and one of the most prominent experts regarding the pandemic, was appointed as the new secretray of health.
Right now I actualy have great expectations of this new government. This might indeed be the first major progress after 16 years of same old, same old.
Re-election seems to have been a smooth process. Unlike the Italian presidential election the other week, if anyone was following that (they basically forced the 80 year old president to have a second term in office, because the Italian Parliament couldn’t agree on anyone else after a week of voting).
German chancellor Olaf Scholz just delivered a tremendous speech in the Bundestag regarding the whole Russia-Ukraine war. The longest standing ovation was given when he pointed out the courageous Russians who are protesting the war in Russia, defying the threat of arrests and severe punishment.
He also used that speech as an opportunity to praise the European Union for guratanteeing Germany decades uninterrupted peace, and called out to all members of the EU to contribute their part for making sure that Europe stands together as one.