Germany’s new chancellor, Olaf Scholz, on Monday named epidemiologist Karl Lauterbach, known for his support of strong COVID-19 precautions, as the next health minister.
Scholz introduced Lauterbach and other nominees for cabinet positions at a news conference in Berlin.
Scholz, who led his Social Democratic Party (SPD) to victory in September’s parliamentary elections, is now assured of becoming Germany’s new chancellor this week as the Green Party formally formed with the SPD and the Free Democrats on Monday. The terms of the alliance have been accepted.
Scholz on Monday introduced Lauterbach, a professor of health economics at the University of Cologne, on leave to serve as a member of parliament, saying he believed most of the German health ministry would be headed by a health expert. want. Lauterbach has been a frequent guest on German radio and television shows discussing the pandemic.
Lauterbach thanked Scholz for showing faith in him and said the pandemic would take longer than most people imagined to end. But he said that the country will take over. Lauterbach said that vaccination will play a central role but not the only one.”
Together with the Greens and the Liberal Free Democrats, Scholz’s SPD managed to form a coalition that sought to make Germany green and fair in less time than expected.
Scholz named Nancy Fasser, the party chief of the SPD in central Hesse state, as the first woman in the role of Minister of the Interior. The post includes oversight of federal police forces and the domestic intelligence agency. Fasar said a major focus would be fighting far-right extremism, which he called the “greatest threat” to the country.
Scholz chose the current Minister of Justice, Christine Lambrecht, to serve as Defense Minister. Wolfgang Schmidt, a close confidant and Scholz’s deputy, will be the chief of staff and the chancellor’s chief.
Some information for this report has been obtained from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.