Chancellor-elect Olaf Scholz’s (SPD) government presented on Wednesday the agreement of the leftist “traffic light” coalition, including which party gets its hands on which ministry. Although cabinet members have not yet been named, Hungarian news and opinion portal Mandiner has taken a look at the most likely and partially confirmed candidates.
The philosopher economics minister
One of the most influential positions, that of economics and climate minister, goes to Green co-chair Robert Habeck. A philosopher by training, 52-year-old Habeck seems the logical choice for the position, since the ministry will also be in charge of implementing the country’s much-touted green transition.
His opponents point out that, throughout his career, Habeck has only held a single ministerial position: that of Environment, Farming, Fisheries, and Energy, in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Considering the likely composition of the government, that still is one of the strongest pedigrees, as most of the others have yet to hold ministerial positions.
Scandal-ridden Baerbock as foreign minister
Many were shocked when it was revealed that Annalena Baerbock, one of the Greens’ strongest supporters of human rights and sanctions diplomacy, will be the country’s foreign minister.
According to Oskar Lafontaine, the legendary founder of the leftist Linke, this is downright a “disaster”, after Baerbock, stumbling from one scandal to the next, demolished the Greens almost single-handedly, dragging them down from potential election winner to a distant third.
In her campaign, Annalena Baerbock promised tougher action against Russia and China – in practice, this could affect the fate of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and foretells another large package of anti-Russian sanctions, spiced with human rights finger-pointing.
The Saxonian “chaos minister” in charge of healthcare
Given that SPD’s Petra Köpping headed the Saxonian Ministry of Social Affairs, her nomination as federal health minister is also somewhat unsettling: during her tenure, Saxony has had one of the worst COVID records in Germany, with low inoculation rates and one of the region’s favorite pastimes, Christmas fairs, banned for the second year in a row.
Finance: most likely a steady hand
Free Democrat Christian Lindner will probably be heading the Ministry of Finance, which is partially good news: he ran with a ticket of cutting red tape and reducing both welfare spending and taxes. The problem is that his party’s position does not blend with the financial agendas of their coalition partners, hinting at a difficult balancing act.
Lindner will also share the Vice Chancellor position with the above-mentioned Minister of Economics Habeck, which is curious, since the German constitution only caters for one Vice Chancellor.