Wednesday September 15, 2021
Left candidate to red-green-red
Bartsch: Withdrawal from NATO is not a requirement
Few issues determine the last few weeks before the general election as much as the left’s self-image of foreign policy. Their top candidate Bartsch is now giving an outlook on possible coalition negotiations with the SPD and the Greens. He draws a red line when it comes to defense spending.
Left-wing top candidate Dietmar Bartsch does not see his party’s attitude to NATO as an obstacle to a coalition with the SPD and the Greens. “There will never be a situation where we would make an exit from NATO a condition of a red-red-green alliance,” he told the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. “In 1998 the Greens called for a de facto dissolution of NATO in their program, but they governed anyway.”
Bartsch spoke out clearly against an increase in defense spending. “What will not happen with us – and I say this very clearly – is the continuation of a policy to achieve NATO’s two percent target of spending more than 80 billion on defense.”
SPD top candidate Olaf Scholz had made it clear several times that a commitment to NATO is an essential point for him in a future coalition. “Anyone who wants to take on government responsibility in Germany has to make a clear commitment to cooperation with the USA, to the transatlantic partnership and to the fact that we need NATO for our defense and our security,” he said, for example, to the “Tagesspiegel”.
Clear criticism of Baerbock
Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock had recently distanced herself strongly from the Left Party because of her positions in foreign policy. “I want a federal government that beats pro-European at heart and takes responsibility in the world. If individual parties do not want that, then it contradicts the mandate of the Basic Law,” she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “That tells us to take responsibility for peace in the world and a common Europe. And that’s where the left has sidelined itself in recent weeks.”
Bartsch sharply criticized Baerbock for this distancing from his party. “Ms. Baerbock is writing again, this time from the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus: the red socks,” he told the editorial network in Germany. “As the leader of the Greens, she should sound like the leader of the Greens and not like a plagiarism of the Union in panic mode.”