Talks start Thursday: around 300 participants negotiate traffic lights in the federal government

Talks start Thursday
Around 300 participants are negotiating traffic lights in the federal government

Now it is getting serious about a possible traffic light coalition: On Thursday the negotiations about a new government made up of the SPD, Greens and FDP really start. However, after a preliminary feel, it is also clear: The parties still have to overcome some big and small differences – especially with regard to finances.

The SPD, Greens and FDP want to start coalition negotiations on Thursday afternoon to form a joint government. A total of 22 working groups are planned. In them, specialist politicians should negotiate the details of the coalition agreement on various topics and policy areas. The aim is to form a government before Christmas.

After the SPD and the Greens, the FDP also voted on Monday to start intensive talks on the formation of the first traffic light government at the federal level. The three parties had previously held exploratory talks in order to sound out commonalities and differences without obligation. Such led the FDP and the Greens also with the Union – the start of the coalition talks on the traffic light government should, however, be the official rejection of a Jamaica coalition.

After the poor election result, the Union would be part of the opposition. The CDU MP Christoph Ploß warns RTL and ntv against drawing the wrong conclusions from the poor result. “We certainly did not lose the election because we have no double peaks and no women or migrant quotas, but above all because the CDU was not set up clearly enough in terms of content and our top candidate had lower popularity ratings than the competition.”

Even after the exploratory talks between the SPD, Greens and FDP there are still some substantive differences. SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans admitted that the projects and plans were not yet fully 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.

Debate about the debt brake

Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter brought financing outside the core budget into play at RTL and ntv. “We can well imagine that the public sector is investing,” he said, naming the state bank KfW, Deutsche Bahn and Autobahn GmbH. The SPD economic wing also mentioned this possibility. “I think public companies like Deutsche Bahn can be a way to provide money without breaking the debt brake,” said the vice-president of the SPD economic forum, Matthias Machnig, to the “Handelsblatt”. Such companies are not included in the calculation of the debt brake. At the same time, Machnig brought the fund to stabilize the economy set up during the corona crisis into play. “Such a fund could provide companies with the capital they need to drive forward-looking innovations,” he said.

In the outcome paper after the exploratory phase, the parties’ negotiators had ruled out new taxes and emphasized that taxes such as income, corporate and value-added tax should not be increased. In addition, the debt brake should be adhered to, which allows the state only a small amount of new loans. There are also plans for a higher statutory minimum wage of 12 euros per hour, an accelerated expansion of renewable energies and, ideally, a coal phase-out by 2030.

CDU politician Ploß considers the balance between the welfare state and reluctance to raise taxes to be important. “It will be important to focus more on social issues again,” he said in an interview with RTL and ntv. “The welfare state should help those who really need it. Every hard-working taxpayer rightly expects that the state will not raise more and more taxes and spend them according to the watering can principle, but that the money will be invested sensibly.”

Baerbock: First content, then ministries

Baerbock insisted that the contents of a possible traffic light coalition would first have to be tied down before the distribution of the ministries could be discussed. The background to this are public demands from FDP politicians that FDP leader Christian Lindner should become finance minister. After that, Green politicians had also claimed the department for their party. When it came to plans for a climate ministry, Baerbock kept a low profile: “It cannot be that one ministry tries and ten work against it. It has to be a climate government.”

Green politician Claudia Roth agrees. In the “Augsburger Allgemeine” she said: “This is a dissonance that disturbs the sound, which has been really good so far. It doesn’t really need such tones and they don’t make it any easier.” 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.” The 66-year-old is a member of the core negotiating team of her party and also wants to reapply for the Bundestag presidium, to which she last served as vice-president.

The Union will not be part of these coalition negotiations. Nonetheless, Ploß emphasized: “I do not believe in clumsy traffic light bashing. People want us to provide answers to their problems and everyday worries. The MEP considers it more important to work out the core competencies of the Union in order to regain strength.” For example, it means that migration needs to be better managed and controlled. The current situation on the German-Polish border shows once again how necessary this is. “

source site