Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Intense, strenuous, difficult
Parties are preparing for tough negotiations
So far everything has been a preliminary skirmish. Now it’s time to get down to business. The SPD, Greens and FDP have never held coalition talks about the formation of a federal government. The challenge they face is all the greater.
After the approval of their party committees, the SPD, Greens and FDP are preparing to begin coalition negotiations. The talks could start this week. First of all, the General Secretaries want to join forces again to structure the talks. Which working groups are formed can be a sign for possible future ministries. The declared aim is to form a government before Christmas.
SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans admitted that the projects and plans of the possible traffic light coalition have not yet been financed. “The finances have to be deposited, of course,” he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. In the case of investments in the future, partial financing with loans is justified, “the debt brake definitely contains leeway for this”. In addition, there would be the possibilities of state institutions such as development banks.
On Friday the negotiators of the parties ended their explorations and presented a result paper. Thereafter, there should be no tax increases and the debt brake should be adhered to. The statutory minimum wage is to rise to 12 euros per hour. In terms of climate protection, accelerated expansion of renewable energies and an exit from coal are planned, ideally by 2030, among other things.
First content, then division of departments
As the last of the three parties, the FDP approved the exploratory results on Monday and voted to start coalition negotiations. In the coming weeks, it will also be about the layout and staffing of the ministries.
A dispute between the Greens and the FDP is looming over the Ministry of Finance in particular. FDP leader Christian Lindner has already signaled his interest, Greens co-leader Robert Habeck reacted angrily. However, the content-related plans of the coalition agreement are to be determined first.
The Green politician Claudia Roth expects hard content-related disputes. “Of course, the next few weeks in the struggle for a future-oriented policy will be intense, exhausting and difficult,” said Roth, who belongs to the negotiating team of her party, the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. “First of all, we are now negotiating the content, the division of responsibilities will follow at the end.”
Roth emphasized that so far the potential government partners had neither talked about filling ministries nor about the design of departments. Demands by FDP politicians Marco Buschmann and Wolfgang Kubicki to award the finance ministry to Lindner were rejected as inappropriate. “It’s a dissonance that upsets the sound, which has been really good so far,” said Roth. “It doesn’t really need tones like that, and they don’t make it any easier either.”