Tuesday, October 19

The photo of the day in Germany is a selfie of the rapprochement between Greens and liberals

The Greens and the German Liberal Party (FDP) have opened their contacts with a view to a possible governing coalition, presumably led by the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, although the conservative Armin Laschet has not withdrawn his aspiration to be the chancellor.

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The two co-chairs of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, as well as the leader of the FDP, Christian Lindner, and his general secretary, Volker Wissing, met Tuesday night, ahead of schedule, since they had spoken about a first meeting this Wednesday.

That previous appointment has been recorded in a photo published by the four, simultaneously, on Instagram, as an already concerted action and apparently to show harmony.

“In search of a new government we have approached our common points and bridges to overcome differences. And we have even found some. Interesting times,” says the text, also common (unlike the filters used), of the four.

Both parties were favorites of the younger generations: Voters under 30 preferred the Greens (22%) and the FDP (20%) by a wide margin, according to an exit poll.

Everything indicates that the next governing coalition will be a tripartite with the Greens and the Liberals, third and fourth forces respectively, with 14.8% and 11.5%, respectively.

Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the most voted force, with 27.1%, while Laschet’s conservative bloc came in second, with 24.1%. The difference between the two is not so much, from a mathematical point of view, but the SPD rose five points compared to 2017, while the conservatives fell almost nine points.

Close-up image

The meeting between environmentalists and liberals is interpreted as an attempt to seek rapprochement and avoid a situation like the one created in 2017, then Chancellor Angela Merkel already tried an alliance between these two formations and the conservatives, which collapsed when Lindner’s FDP gave for broken negotiation.

The result of that abandonment was a new grand coalition between conservatives and social democrats, the only one possible to have the necessary parliamentary majority, something that right now all those involved want to avoid.

One of the big news on Sunday came from Lindner, when he suggested meeting first with the leaders of the Greens before entering into coalition talks. Such an approach makes a lot of sense for analysts like Jeremy Cliff, journalist from New Statesman, since the Greens are closer to the SPD and the FDP is closer to the CDU / CSU.

“Both are determined to enter the Government and the biggest differences on issues such as the major fiscal and climate issues would be the biggest obstacles (…). If (and it is a big ‘yes’) the two can find compromises in those differences, it puts them in a strong position to drive up the political price of their support for the SPD or the CDU / CSU, “he says. “That common ground between the two would likely involve a mix of state and market mechanisms to decarbonize the economy, increased public investments within the constraints of Germany’s politically sacred debt brake, and ministries important to both (the FDP wants Finance, the Exterior Greens and some form of mega-ministry of environment and economy) “.

Furor in social networks

In addition to the political analyzes that it has unleashed, the photo has become a success on social networks, accumulating tens of thousands of ‘likes’. Many users comment with traffic light emojis (as the SPD coalition with Greens and Liberals is popularly known) and others with the Jamaican flag, the name of the alliance between Conservatives, Greens and Liberals.

Memes and parodies – several of them with deepfake technology – have not been long in coming either.

The SPD has already declared its intention to start negotiations with Greens and Liberals as soon as possible. Laschet has not withdrawn his claim to probe at least those hypothetical partners, despite strong pressure from his own bloc to abandon that purpose.

The leader of the Bavarian Social Christian Union (CSU), Markus Söder, congratulated Scholz on Tuesday for his electoral victory and called for respecting those results. Laschet, head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and a common candidate of the conservative bloc, has so far avoided that step.

Söder and Laschet maintained a hard internal pulse at the beginning of the year, since both aspired to be the candidate for the chancellery. With the conservative bloc sinking to its worst ever results, pressures on the CDU leader have been mounting.


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