Enter Olaf Scholz: Can post-Merkel Germany meet its ambitions?
13 December 2021 | 3:22 pm
Functioning democracy completes peaceful transition of power. These days, that is no longer always a given. Germany's story is one of continuity but also change, even if the new chancellor is a familiar face who has been dubbed the Scholzomat for his monotone ability to stay on-message. Olaf Scholz may sound boring, but the platform of the country's first three-party coalition since the 1950s reads like a manifesto for wholesale reform.
A mandatory label documenting how animals were reared and other new regulations are supposed to improve animal welfare. Is it a step toward more transparency for consumers — or just greenwashing?
The German government has begun several weeks of expert testimony on liberalizing recreational cannabis use. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach hopes to present a new law in the coming months.
Angola will become the first African country to supply Germany with green hydrogen as Berlin seeks to transition into clean energy. Experts say Africa has massive green energy potential, but it involves risks.
Europe continues to struggle with a heat wave, though some have seen a respite from record high temperatures for the time of year. One of several wildfires has raged out of control on Greece's second-largest island.
Hackers breached the system used Germany's ruling Green Party and gained access to accounts previously used by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck, party officials said.
The far-right AfD party will stick with Tino Chrupalla and Alice Weidel as party leaders, after Chrupalla fended off a challenge from a slightly more moderate candidate and then endorsed Weidel.
In the first case of its kind, German prosecutors have seized several apartments belonging to a Russian lawmaker. So far other sanctioned assets have simply been frozen.
In a speech ahead of key summits, the German chancellor has told parliament that "we will defend every square meter of NATO territory." He also described a partnership with Russia under Vladimir Putin as "unimaginable."
Without Russian natural gas, Germany will be facing an energy crisis. Coal, nuclear, fracking or renewable energy — what are the most realistic and climate-friendly options?
Germany has taken a step towards rationing natural gas by activating the second of three stages in an emergency plan. Officials say that since Russia reduced supplies, gas is now a "scarce commodity". Also in the show: the UK is hit by a second day of rail strikes over job security, pay and the rising cost of living, and high inflation in France prompts a boom in demand for camping holidays.
German energy official Klaus Müller has said the country's gas situation is stable but predicted higher prices for consumers. He also said that Germany can last another 2 1/2 months without Russian gas.
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