Since the election, Mr Scholz’s party has worked with the Greens and the Free Democrats on a coalition deal, which was finally signed on Tuesday. All 16 ministers took the oath of office on Wednesday, becoming Germany’s first cabinet to include as many women as men.
The new government has ambitious plans to fight climate change by phasing out coal early and focusing on renewable energy, but their initial priority will be tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
Health authorities have recorded another 69,601 cases in the past 24 hours and a further 527 deaths – the highest number since last winter.
Mr Scholz is already a known and trusted face in Berlin and Brussels. He marketed himself to voters as sort of Merkel Mark Two, despite hailing from a different political party.
But it’s not all about continuity, and friends and trade partners of this rich and powerful nation will be watching closely.
Mr Scholz’s coalition government is a never-before-seen marriage of convenience. What unites them, they claim, is a determination to modernise Germany, while preserving the country’s treasured stability.