Your Monday Briefing (The New York Times)

Narrow election results in Germany
The Germans voted for change: the SPD beat Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union by 1.6 percentage points and a total of 25.7 percent of the vote.

The short-term outcome means the Social Democrats will have to work with other parties to form a government. Otherwise, the party could lead the country in second place. It will take weeks, if not months, to form a coalition that will bring Europe’s largest democracy to a stalemate at a crucial time in the continent’s recovery from the pandemic.

The results followed a shaky campaign. The favorite is Armin Lasket of the Christian Democrats, while his party leadership made a few mistakes. The tough personality of Olaf Scholz led the Social Democrats to an impressive comeback from 10 points. And the Greens, which led the polls briefly, did not live up to expectations, but recorded their best result.

Next steps: A possible coalition includes Social Democrats, Free Market Liberals, Free Democrats, and Greens. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered in more than 400 German cities in the days leading up to the election and called on the winner to put climate protection at the top of the agenda.

Worthy of quote: At SPD headquarters, Scholz addresses the crowd: “People tick the box for the SPD because they want a change of government in this country and because they want the next Chancellor to be Olaf Scholz.”

Legacy: After Merkel stepped down as Chancellor after 16 years, she left a very different Germany. Our journalists have traveled to several cities and seen changes in climate policy, religious tolerance and diversity.

According to Merkel: Merkel was not only the Federal Chancellor for more than a decade, but the de facto leader of Europe. Can French President Emmanuel Macron fill his position at the head of the European Union? Despite the void that remains, the macro era is unlikely to be born.

UK offers 5,000 visas for foreign truck drivers
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced late Saturday that it would reverse course and offer foreign truck drivers 5,000 three-month visas at the start of Christmas to address a driver shortage that has left some supermarket shelves empty. have given up and have a long line to speed up. Train station. Visas for 5,500 poultry workers will also be issued during the same period.

The decision reflects growing government concerns about ongoing supply disruptions. Britain emerged from an 18-month hibernation imposed by the pandemic only to discover a similar disease in the country in the 1970s. The risk for Johnson is acute.

Since Britain completed the final phase of Brexit in January, employers have not been able to freely hire European workers and the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated a crisis stemming from a long-term shortage of British truck drivers. Johnson will today consider plans to deploy hundreds of troops to order a reserve tanker fleet.

Johnson Rivalry: Critics say Labor leader Keir Starmer, competent but without charisma, has not given British voters a clear reason to support the biggest opposition party.

Here’s the latest update on the virus and pandemic map.

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