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Olaf Scholz set to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor

Scholz's center-left Social Democrats said they will present their agreement with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats on Wednesday

Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz

Olaf Scholz  is set to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor after forging an unprecedented alliance that aims to revamp Europe’s largest economy by tackling climate change and promoting digital technologies.

After nearly two months of intense negotiations, Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats said they will present their agreement with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats on Wednesday. Details of the coalition deal will be published later, when Scholz and leaders from the other two parties will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. in the German capital. The deal seals the end of Merkel’s 16-year tenure. During her four terms as chancellor, she became one of the West’s most respected leaders but left the country’s industry exposed to threats from China and changing technologies.

The new government will put climate protection front and center, pushing for investment in new technologies and upgrading Germany’s aging infrastructure. The government plans to exit coal by 2030—eight years earlier than planned — and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. It’s also likely to become more assertive on the international stage.