Wednesday 20th October 2021
Red-red-green in Berlin
Left says yes to coalition negotiations
After the Greens and Social Democrats in Berlin vote to start coalition negotiations, the left is now following suit. The implementation of the referendum on the expropriation of large housing companies is particularly important to the party. The aim is to learn lessons from a previous debacle.
The way is clear for coalition negotiations between the SPD, the Greens and the Left in Berlin. As the last party body, a special party congress of the left voted with a clear majority for the start of such negotiations on the formation of a government. On Monday, the state boards of the SPD and the Left as well as a state committee of the Greens had already approved the project. Party leader Katina Schubert and top candidate Klaus Lederer campaigned at the meeting to negotiate a new coalition with the SPD and the Greens. “We want to shape, we want to implement left-wing politics in this city,” said Lederer.
Schubert and Lederer emphasized that the left want to implement the successful referendum for the expropriation of large housing companies without restriction. In order not to “fall on the nose” legally, as with the rent cap, it is important to activate all of the expertise in order to work out a workable law, said Schubert. Lederer said the left is the only reliable guarantee that work will be carried out on the implementation of the referendum. “It’s not about whether we can get the referendum through, but how.”
According to the exploratory paper, on which the SPD, the Greens and the Left agreed last week, an expert commission is to examine the “possibilities, ways and requirements for implementation” of the referendum and develop recommendations for further action by the Senate within a year. The issue is one of the most controversial between the three parties.
Are there too few left-wing goals in the exploratory paper?
Numerous critics of the party leadership’s line also spoke up at the party congress. Among other things, they criticized the fact that too few left-wing goals were set out in the exploratory paper. Some delegates pleaded for the approval of the SPD and the Greens to implement the referendum to be a prerequisite for starting coalition talks. The delegates decided on a paper in which the left summarized the points that are particularly important to them. In addition to the implementation of the referendum, this includes investments in public infrastructure, the continuation of housing purchases in addition to social housing, a training offensive for teachers, a better functioning administration and localization of the S-Bahn.
The SPD, the Greens and the Left have been ruling together in Berlin since 2016. After lengthy explorations, the SPD, which again became the strongest force in the House of Representatives election on September 26th, decided to forge a new alliance between the three parties for the next five years. Negotiations should start on Friday and be completed by the end of November.