In my first contribution to the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog, I report that there is worry in Germany the new government will contend itself with presiding over good times rather than make ambitious reforms.
There are some important policies in the coalition agreement that was unveiled on Wednesday, including expanding high-speed Internet access, a compromise on immigration and support for some of French president Emmanuel Macron’s EU reform proposals.
But “bold” is not a term that comes to mind when reading the deal.
On the other hand, what was the alternative? Angela Merkel’s talks with the liberal Free Democrats and Greens failed. If the Social Democrats hadn’t agreed to renew the “grand coalition”, Merkel would have had to either form a minority government or call snap elections.
The parties are also taking concrete steps to mend the East-West divide, such as spending more on child care and schools and curtailing the use of temporary work contracts.
It’s not “Morning in Germany,” but muddling through with substantive policies that improve people’s lives is the Merkel way.
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