Linke introduces “Immediate Program”: Eight pages of advertising for red-red-green

Status: 06.09.2021 2:11 p.m.

The Left is promoting its own government participation with an “immediate program” for the federal election. The party calls for a higher minimum wage and a move away from Hartz IV. There is little in it on foreign policy.

By Kai Küstner, ARD capital studio

It is the moment when the flow of speech of the left-wing top duo comes to a standstill. Both Janine Wissler and Dietmar Bartsch would like to answer a journalist’s question – but who should be first? After they both interrupted each other twice, the coordination only succeeds on the third attempt. “Please, excuse me,” says Bartsch.

“The best would be a center-left alliance”

The scene looks as if someone briefly caught the ball during the otherwise well-rehearsed response ping-pong of the top duo. And the scene, albeit covered with laughter, raises the very fundamental question of who is standing and speaking for the left. Because if you pay attention to the nuances, you will hear small but subtle differences in faction leader Bartsch and party leader Wissler: “The best for the world, Europe and the country would be a center-left alliance,” says Bartsch.

Wissler is also promoting this center-left alliance. So for red-red-green. But she then provides this with the clarification: “In this election we are fighting for a strong left. We are not fighting for constellations, we are fighting for political content.”

Kristin Schwietzer, ARD Berlin, analyzes the “immediate program” of the left

tagesschau24 12:00, 6.9.2021

“Immediate program” as an advertisement for red-red-green

It is no secret that there are those on the left – and Bartsch is also counted among them – who, after decades in the opposition, absolutely want to rule. But there are also those – and this has also been said so far by Wissler – who would not have a big problem with opposition work if the political price were otherwise too high.

And yet: The eight-page “immediate program” of the Left reads like an advertising brochure for red-red-green – and like a warning against government participation by the Union and FDP: “A traffic light is ultimately electoral fraud with an announcement. There will be no minimum wage, there there will be no higher taxation of the super-rich, “says Bartsch.

Minimum income instead of Hartz IV

It is a list with which Bartsch immediately sets the substantive focus of the left: It is clearly on the topic of social justice: the left proposes a minimum wage of 13 euros, a minimum income instead of Hartz IV, basic child benefits of up to 630 euros, a higher pension level , a wealth tax.

The party devotes just half a page in its “immediate program” to foreign and security policy. Perhaps on purpose, as this topic is considered to be the highest hurdle for possible coalitions. The left wants to end military missions abroad – and feels that it has been strengthened by what is called the “emergency program”, the “catastrophe in Afghanistan”.

No commitment to NATO

Perhaps deliberately not in the “immediate program”, but in the election manifesto, the party is calling for NATO to be replaced by “a new alliance including Russia”. In any case, neither Bartsch nor Wissler wanted to make a clear commitment to the military alliance, as demanded by SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz: “I think it’s nonsense to demand confessions now,” says Wissler.

Confession or not – this choice is still accompanied by many imponderables: Initially, the left is currently bobbing around in the polls at only around six percent. And the Union is currently intensifying its attacks on the Left Party – and thus also wants to hit SPD candidate Scholz, who does not exclude red-red-green. At the same time, the Social Democrats seem to be aiming for a traffic light with the Greens and the FDP. Despite the Left Party’s clear attempts to get involved.

Left advertising for red-red-green

Kai Küstner, ARD Berlin, September 6, 2021 1:13 p.m.

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