Ending Merkel era, Olaf Scholz becomes Germany's new chancellor

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 08, 2021, 05:21 PM(IST)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz takes the oath from President of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) Baerbel Bas during a session at the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) in Berlin on December 8, 2021 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Scholz, 63, who served as vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel's outgoing government, got a clear majority of 395 votes from lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Bundestag President Baerbel Bas said

Lawmakers in Germany on Wednesday elected Social Democrat Olaf Scholz an the country's chancellor on Wednesday. This marked end of the Merkel era who was in Germany's top office for 16 years. Elections of Scholz has paved way for pro-European coalition government which has vowed to boost green investment.

Scholz, 63, who served as vice chancellor and finance minister in Merkel's outgoing government, got a clear majority of 395 votes from lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, Bundestag President Baerbel Bas said.

Scholz, who nodded wearing a face mask and waved as he received a standing ovation from lawmakers, received bouquets of flowers and a basket of apples from the leaders of the parliamentary groups.

As he took over from Angela Merkel in official power handover ceremony Scholz pledged a "new beginning" for Germany.

"It will be a new beginning for our country. In any case I will do everything to work towards that," said the 63-year-old.

With his down-to-earth and no-nonsense manner, Scholz has positioned himself as Merkel's natural successor and a safe pair of hands to steer Germany through challenges ranging from tackling the climate crisis to dealing with a more confrontational Russia and a more assertive China.

Scholz will lead an unprecedented three-way ruling coalition on the federal level with the pro-spending, environmentalist Greens and the fiscally more conservative, libertarian Free Democrats (FDP) - unlikely political bedfellows in the past.

(With inputs from agencies)

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