Germany’s incoming chancellor, Olaf Scholz, named a high-profile health expert who has taught at the Harvard School of Public Health to tackle a brutal surge in Covid-19 infections.
The Social Democrats’ Karl Lauterbach, a trained epidemiologist who has become a public figure during the pandemic, will be health minister. Scholz on Monday named the seven ministers from the SPD who will be in the new government, including Christine Lambrecht as Germany’s third-consecutive female defense minister and one of four women in the cabinet. Hubertus Heil will retain his post as labor minister.
Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats will lead the government with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats. After the SPD and FDP overwhelmingly approved the 177-page coalition accord over the weekend, the Greens will announce the results of a party membership ballot later Monday and are also expected to back the deal.
Scholz is set to be sworn in on Wednesday by the lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, bringing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 16-year term to an end.
The SPD’s other cabinet posts are Nancy Faeser as interior minister and Klara Geywitz, who will take over the construction portfolio. Svenja Schulze will become development minister, and Wolfgang Schmidt, a close aide to Scholz, will be his chief of staff as chancellery minister.
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