After Habeck’s coalition criticism: no unity in sight

Status: 03/22/2023 4:30 p.m

After Economics Minister Habeck’s clear criticism of the coalition partners, the general secretaries of the SPD and FDP reacted irritably. SPD boss Klingbeil warned the traffic light partners to stop the dispute.

The dispute between the coalition partners is going into another round: FDP General Secretary Bijan Dijr-Sarai and SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert have rejected the criticism of Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) on the work of the coalition.

“Mr. Habeck’s perception that the Greens are responsible for progress in the traffic light coalition and that the other parties would prevent this does not correspond to reality,” Djir-Sarai told the “Spiegel”. “I can’t see that the Greens are accelerating progress, they are blocking it in many places – for example in the expansion of infrastructure or a technology-neutral approach to climate protection policy.” Even unreasonable burdens, such as a short-term ban on heating, are not progress, according to Djir-Sarai.

Kühnert sees Habeck under pressure

Secretary General Kevin Kühnert attested to the minister that he was currently under pressure. “But I think you shouldn’t deal with the pressure in such a way that you’re just grabbing in all directions because of it,” he said ARD Capital Studio.

“Robert Habeck’s statements were certainly more aimed at his own people in the environment of the closed conference of the Greens parliamentary group,” said SPD parliamentary group vice-president Wiese to the “Spiegel”. “In the background, the conflict with Annalena Baerbock about the next top candidate may also play a role.”

Habeck questions the government’s willingness to reach an agreement

Habeck had in daily topics-Interview criticizes that some in the government “relapsed into old comfort”. He was alarmed, for example, on the question of converting the gas and oil heating systems to whether there was any willingness in the government to reach an agreement. There was a targeted indiscretion about the joint draft law by the Ministry of Economics and Building. “A government that gambles away trust has of course lost its biggest pound.”

He accused the coalition partners of “blackening” him. The Vice-Chancellor had already accused the SPD and FDP of playing the brakes at the Green Party in Weimar.

coalition committee of the three parties on Sunday

There are currently a number of controversial issues in the traffic light, in which the Greens and the FDP in particular cannot find a common position. The three parties will meet in the coalition committee on Sunday. There you have “big problems to solve”, said Lars Klingbeil. The SPD boss called for de-escalation: “These public disputes must stop now,” said Klingbeil ARD Capital Studio.

Goals from the coalition agreement, such as energy supply and climate protection, have become even more urgent as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. This is what the government is measured against, and “to do that, we have to adopt a different working mode.” His appeal applies to all three traffic light parties: In the past few weeks, there have been disputes in the traffic light coalition of the SPD, Greens and FDP on several projects, from the expansion of the motorway to a ban on new oil and gas heating systems to the upcoming budget for 2024.

Haßelmann: Many similarities in the “Team Traffic Light”

The parliamentary group leadership of the Greens also called on the coalition to unite. There are many things in common in the “Traffic Light Team” on questions of social cohesion, said the parliamentary group leader Britta Haßelmann on the sidelines of the Greens retreat. Co-group leader Katharina Dröge explained: “This year is the working year of the traffic light.” Last year, the major task was to deal with a crisis, which the coalition did well together. “Sometimes we discussed too much. We do that today too. But above all we acted together.” Haßelmann emphasized that the citizens expected solutions and not disputes on the open stage.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not comment on the current discord in his coalition. His spokesman Steffen Hebestreit tried to calm down. The chancellor is “in talks with everyone and moving things in the right direction,” said Hebestreit. The spokesman called for understanding for the necessary coordination processes within the coalition: “Some things take a little longer than you would like in a one-man government, but in the end there is always a good result.”

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