Editorial: Germany’s new hand on the wheel faces a hard road ahead

After 16 years of Angela Merkel, Olaf Scholz takes over as chancellor with his country at a crossroads – and now he must put his foot to the floor

Olaf Scholz is an experienced politician, having served as Merkel’s finance minister. He is best described as a European version of Joe Biden – centrist, pragmatic and liable to disappoint his more radical supporters. Picture: Getty

The traffic lights in Germany are about to change from red to green. Europe’s pre-eminent power is preparing for the end of the era of Angela Merkel, 16 years after she became chancellor, three years after telling her country she would step down, and two months after a general election inflicted a heavy defeat on her political party.

Last week, a three-party coalition sealed an agreement to form a new centrist government led by chancellor-elect ...