Wednesday, October 20

First meeting between greens and liberals to negotiate a coalition in Germany


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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The leaders of the party of the Greens and the FDP have begun talks for the formation of a government in which both formations would participate. On Tuesday night, the leader of the FPD Christian Lindner and the secretary general Volker Wissing met with the two green co-chairs Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock In the so-called ‘preliminaries’ and at dawn they simultaneously published the same selfie on their Instagram accounts. The photos only differ in the filters used and are linked to the same message: “In the search for a new government, we are exploring common ground and bridges between divisions. And even find some exciting times. »

About two hours after the photo was posted, Lindner had collected the most ‘likes’ – his post received likes from nearly 25,000 users, while Baerbock’s post received nearly 21,000, Habeck’s about 9,000. and Wissings just under 2,400 likes.

In this first meeting it has become clear that the two key figures who will lead the negotiation are Habeck and Lindner. The green candidate, Annalena Baerbock, has taken a back seat. Lindner already led the negotiations in 2017, in North Rhine-Westphalia, with Armin Laschet and Habeck he did it in Kiel with the CDU and the FDP. Both covenants remain to this day. However, there is a precedent that worries and that none of the negotiators wants to repeat. Lindner left the table in the fall of 2017 when Merkel he was trying to form a government with greens and liberals. In order not to revive that frustration, Habeck prefers to put all the demands on the negotiating table from the beginning rather than approach the agreement in sectoral parcels.

“The Green Youth would break away from the party, it would not participate in a Jamaican coalition with the CDU”

The stated goal of both sides is to reach an agreement on the basic lines of political cooperation, which should serve as a prerequisite for a ‘restart’ of government policy in Germany. Only after this joint exploration do the FDP and the Greens want to speak to a potential chancellor’s party, that is, the SPD or the CDU, although they lead the talks initially. to the most voted party, SPD.

The green youths have asked the party leadership to publicly reject a negotiation with the CDU, but they have not been successful. “The Green Youth would break away from the party, it would not participate in a Jamaican coalition with the CDU,” the youth organization’s spokesman threatened. Georg Kurz, “There is no way we can return to the Chancellery the party that was explicitly expelled from office.” Kurz has also begun to draw red lines in the negotiations with the liberals: “We have been chosen for constant climate protection and the fair distribution of wealth, for an improvement in the reality of life for the majority of the population and not for a few rich. We have to enforce that, otherwise we won’t be able to be there.

Increased pressure

The SPD, for its part, has increased pressure for rapid government formation. The first exploratory talks with the Greens and the FDP could take place this week, according to the leader of the parliamentary group Rolf Mützenich. The SPD is ready to “have not only fast conversations, but also reliable”. Own Scholz He breathes strength into the ‘stoplight coalition’ in each of his statements. “Something fits if you want to join,” said the acting vice chancellor last night at an act of the parliamentary group in Berlin. “It can be a government where three parties come together that have different but overlapping ideas of progress,” he insisted. He recalled that the SPD has always been a party in favor of the political implementation of the law, freedom and a better life possible. “The Greens, like the SPD, see stopping man-made climate change and the surrounding ecological problems as critical, but of course they are more focused on it,” he noted. “And the Liberal Party also has ideas about progress that overlap with what we see,” he mentioned the issue of civil rights and the modernization of the country.

“Everyone knows that this would require a two-thirds majority in parliament and the Federal Council, it would not work without the cooperation of the CDU and the CSU.”

As a real sign of commitment and to avoid difficulties in the negotiation, the SPD co-chair, Norbert Walter-Borjans Last night, he suggested leaving the debt brake out of the pact, a matter on which talks with the liberals would surely run aground. “Everyone knows that this would require a two-thirds majority in parliament and the Federal Council, it would not work without the cooperation of the CDU and the CSU. Therefore, why should we fight with Los Verdes in talks with the FDP when a necessary fourth partner, namely CDU and CSU, is not available for something like that? ” The German Constitution contains a brake on the debt that, due to the pandemic, was suspended by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz until 2023, thus freeing the State from the task of investments. One of the points that the new government coalition should agree on is thatWhat direction to take in terms of budgetary discipline, but Walter-Borjans wants to avoid this difficulty by not entering into negotiations on it. “For a coalition agreement, I would say: less is more,” says Walter-Borjans, “in the explorations that are now beginning, you don’t have to go into all the details, a clear focus is what is important.”

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