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Scholz promises decisive action to combat coronavirus pandemic

Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced that decisive action will be taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic. “We will do everything that is necessary, and there will be no red lines for the federal government,” Scholz said in his first government statement following his election as chancellor in the Bundestag on Wednesday. He said that the government would pull out all the stops “until we all get back our former lives and all our freedoms”. In this context, Scholz again called on all citizens to get vaccinated, saying that this was the most important thing.

The chancellor announced that the next 20 years would be years of renewal. He described the new federal government as a government of progress – of social, societal and cultural progress. And added that technical progress is the only way for Germany to become climate-neutral and for Germany and Europe to keep up with the global competition. “For 250 years, our prosperity has been based on burning coal, oil and gas. Now around 23 years lie ahead of us in which we must and we will phase out fossil fuels,” said Scholz, asserting that Germany must be climate-neutral by 2045.

The chancellor also emphasised the importance of social cohesion. His guiding principle is “a society of respect” and believes it is important for people in the country “to perceive each other as equals among equals, despite all their differences”. Scholz was elected Angela Merkel’s successor at the beginning of December. He heads a government coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP.

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