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Green Party formally agrees to join German coalition

Green Party formally agrees to join German coalition
Germany's future chancellor Olaf Scholz talks to journalists during the Social Democratic Party election in Berlin on September 26. The Green Party formally voted to join a governing coalition with the Social Democrats and Free Democrats on Monday. File Photo by Focke Strangmann/EPA-EFE

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The new German government took another step forward Monday when the Green Party announced it would be a part of a coalition with the Social Democrats and Free Democrats.

While a deal between the two center-left parties, the Greens and Social Democrats and the pro-business Free Democrats was developed in September, it took a final vote by the Greens to make it formal.

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The Green Party voted 86% in favor of the coalition, which would appear to be a shift from Angela Merkel's conservative coalition which has led the nation for 16 years. The other two parties have previously agreed to the pairing.

The groups still have to sign the coalition agreement Tuesday. If everything goes as planned, the Social Democrats' Olaf Scholz will be sworn in as Germany's new chancellor.

While the Green Party overwhelmingly approved the deal, a large wing felt it had to make significant concessions to be part of the governing group. The Free Democrats won victories inside the coalition to get Green Party proposals including phasing out natural gas and banning fossil-fuel cars watered down.

Still, the Green Party, Europe's most influential environmental political party, has a chance to enter the mainstream of Germany's political decision-making for the first time.

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"I admit there's a gap," said Greens co-leader Robert Habeck, who expressed concern about voter negotiations ahead, according to Bloomberg. "Behind every bush, trouble and conflict will be waiting."

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