Berlin: Giffey open to black and red. The CDU will decide

coalition negotiations
Who governs with whom in Berlin? Giffey apparently wants to lead the SPD into a coalition with the CDU

Kai Wegner from the CDU and Berlin’s previous governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD)

© Annette Riedl / DPA

The exploratory talks in Berlin are over. Franziska Giffey is apparently ready for a coalition with the Union. But she also “constructively” explored with the Greens. A preliminary decision may already be made today.

In Berlin, the first decisions about the start of coalition negotiations could be made this Wednesday. The state board of the Berlin Social Democrats will discuss this in the afternoon. The exploratory talks between the parties have now been concluded. According to media reports, Berlin’s governing mayor and SPD state chairwoman Franziska Giffey is aiming for a coalition with the election winner, the CDU.

Giffey wants to propose to the SPD state board at its meeting this Wednesday that coalition negotiations with the CDU be started, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, “Tagesspiegel”, “Bild/BZ” and other media reported on Tuesday evening. So far, a red-green-red coalition has ruled in Berlin, which, in addition to a black-red and a black-green alliance, would also have a majority in the new House of Representatives.

The German Press Agency learned from SPD circles that the trend is towards black and red, but that is not yet fixed. According to reports, the SPD parliamentary group, which was informed on Tuesday about the status of the exploratory talks, is also tending in this direction. “Tagesspiegel” and “Bild/BZ” reported that the SPD state leadership had informed federal chairmen Lars Klingbeil and Saskia Esken of their intentions.

CDU lead candidate Kai Wegner is aiming for a two-party coalition with the SPD or the Greens and has not yet decided on a preferred partner. According to him, the CDU state executive is to be convened on Thursday to discuss the topic of coalition negotiations.

Black and red means Giffey’s mayor in Berlin

When asked about the reports, an SPD spokesman said that the Berlin SPD’s exploratory team would only submit a recommendation to the state executive to start coalition talks at the meeting on Wednesday.

In the event of a coalition with the CDU, SPD state chairwoman Giffey would have to give up her position as governing mayor. The new head of government would be CDU faction leader and state leader Wegner in a black-red coalition. It is conceivable that Giffey could then become a senator. The Greens and Left, with whom the SPD has governed since 2016, would then find themselves on the opposition bench.

Union also in line with the Greens

The third and final exploratory talks between the CDU and the Greens ended late Tuesday evening. After the eight-and-a-half-hour meeting, neither CDU state chief Wegner nor the Greens’ top candidate Bettina Jarasch gave any indication as to who they would like to start coalition negotiations with.

Wegner said the talks were very solution-oriented. The two exploratory teams found many things in common, for example in the areas of education, health, science, but also financial policy. Jarasch said that the Greens’ exploratory team had once again experienced the CDU as a reliable and trustworthy interlocutor. “We discussed very intensively, have gone through all our issues, and have found many solutions for the good of the city.” That also applies to the “big chunks”.

Regarding the reports on the SPD state executive board meeting on Wednesday, Jarasch said: “We were surprised by this step by the SPD leadership. It also does not correspond to the course and results of our previous talks with our current coalition partners.”

The Berlin Greens had already announced that they wanted to decide at a small party conference on Tuesday whether and with whom to start coalition negotiations. Whether it stays that way or whether the CDU and SPD will agree long before that is still open.

Left criticizes possible black-red alliance

The Left state executive wants to recommend the state party conference to start coalition negotiations with the SPD and the Greens. The decision to do so was made on Tuesday with only one dissenting vote, the party announced on Tuesday evening. The final decision will be made by the state party conference, which is scheduled for Friday. “Should the SPD actually go into a coalition with the backward-looking CDU, the city is threatened with a social and societal rollback,” said state chairwoman Katina Schubert.

After the final result of the February 12 repeat election announced on Monday, the CDU is clearly ahead with 28.2 percent. SPD and Greens each got 18.4 percent. The Social Democrats have a tiny lead of just 53 votes.


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