Leaders of Germany and Spain meet to align progressive agendas | Government and politics


MADRID (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met in the Spanish capital on Monday to align the agendas of their leftist governments and plan how to boost progressive policies in the 27-nation European Union.

After succeeding Angela Merkel as leader of the EU’s most populous nation and biggest economy last month, Scholz has joined Sánchez in the select group of progressive EU politicians in office. The two leaders are also leading unprecedented coalition governments in their respective countries.

Sánchez greeted Scholz on the stairs of the Moncloa Palace on the outskirts of Madrid, which houses the office and residence of the Spanish prime minister. The two men were due to speak over lunch before holding a joint press conference.

The meeting with Sánchez, another member of the European Socialist Group, marks Scholz’s first trip abroad this year, following visits to Paris, Brussels and Rome since taking office.

The talks were expected to focus on ways to strengthen social democratic policies in the EU as countries try to launch economic recoveries from the steep losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rising tensions along the Ukraine-Russia border were also expected to be on the agenda.

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