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5 oddities in German coalition agreement

March 12, 2018

From state-funded cleaners to "wolf removal," here are five curiosities that made it into the coalition agreement Germany's governing parties signed in Berlin on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to Horst Seehofer and Olaf Scholz
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld

They did it! When Angela Merkel is re-elected as chancellor by Bundestag members on March 14 - a mere formality - Germany will officially have a new government... only half a year after the federal elections in September 2017. The work of the so-called grand coalition will be based on the coalition agreement that Merkel's CDU, its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, and the Social Democrats (SPD) reached after weeks of debating.

The 177-page long document details the government's plans and goals for the next four years.

DW takes a look at the more unusual projects laid out in the coalition agreement. 

Read more: New German government: What is at stake for the EU?

A cleaner paid for by the state

A gloved hand wiping a cabinet with a cloth
Image: Fotolia/senkaya

Conservatives and Social Democrats plan to grant "financial aid for services close to home" to single parents, people who care for sick or elderly relatives and senior citizens. In non-legalese, this means that the government will help out with vouchers when it comes to paying a cleaner, for example. You qualify for this assistance if you're not able to clean your own apartment anymore or if you spend too much time helping relatives to take care of your own home.

Protecting Germany's hilly vineyards

Vineyard in the Rhine region
Image: DOC RABE Media/Fotolia

Good news for German wine enthusiasts: the coalition agreement includes a section on supporting sustainable developments in winegrowing, "especially for vines on steep and steepest slopes." In addition, German wines' designations of origin will be protected internationally.

Support for Olympic gaming competitions

Two men playing e-games
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Offside Sports Photography/C. Wilson

The government has pledged more support for eSports, or electronic sports. In eSports, competitors face off playing computer games that require excellent hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional thinking. Germany's leaders will even "support the creation of Olympic prospects" for eSports.

'Wolf removal'

Wolf mother and her cubs
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/blickwinkel/D. & M. Sheldon

The government is calling on the EU Commission to re-examine the protected status of wolves. Conservatives and Social Democrats will also create a catalogue of prerequisites that details when a "lethal removal" of wolves should occur – in other words, they are drawing up rules for when to shoot and kill the animals to protect humans or livestock.

Read more: Managing wolves in Germany: A toothy job for tough ladies

Making healthier pizza

Frozen pizzas
Image: picture-alliance/ZB/P. Pleul

The government is also worried about people's diet. Since they can't force anyone to eat more veggies and less junk food, they want to make sure that convenience products become at least a little healthier. That's why Germany is getting a "National Reduction Strategy." Its goal: less sugar, salt and fat in frozen pizza, ice cream and other favorite treats.

Carla Bleiker
Carla Bleiker Editor, channel manager and reporter focusing on US politics and science@cbleiker