Mood in the traffic light: In argument mode

As of: 03/22/2023 8:03 p.m

Before the coalition committee on Sunday, the mood in the traffic lights is tense – and the list of controversial issues is long. Above all, the Greens and the FDP tease each other – or share, like Robert Habeck. With calculation?

By Björn Dake, ARD Capital Studio, currently Weimar

Robert Habeck is actually only a guest here. The Federal Minister of Economics stands in the hall of the cultural center “mon ami” in Weimar between Katharina Dröge and Britta Hasselmann. The two leaders of the Greens have invited their MPs to a retreat in Thuringia.

Habeck promises not to want to hijack the statement at the start. And then he does exactly that. He talks for 50 seconds, then blurts out: “It can’t be that in a progressive coalition only one person stands for progress and the others for prevention.”

The economics minister seems attacked and feels misunderstood. The ban on new oil and gas heating systems in new buildings will be socially cushioned. For lower and middle incomes, switching to a heat pump will not be more expensive than a new gas heating system. Everything thought through, everything planned and above all: everything agreed with the coalition partners.

Greens attack FDP and Scholz

The fact that the FDP no longer wants to remember it drives Habeck on the palm. And here in Weimar with the Greens faction, he can say that more clearly than at home in Berlin as Vice-Chancellor of the traffic lights. His second outburst in the evening in an interview with the daily topics: probably calculated.

That goes down well with the Greens. Not only Habeck is annoyed that the heat transition in the coalition is suddenly in question again and that not much progress is being made on climate protection. The Greens see the FDP and Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing as brakemen, who, among other things, does not comply with the climate targets in the transport sector. They want more leadership from the SPD chancellor. Olaf Scholz should clearly commit to the end of combustion engines in the EU.

Blade ax warns

At the SPD, such advice is anything but welcome. But party leader Lars Klingbeil shares that in an interview ARD Capital Studio the Greens’ analysis: “The public dispute of the last few days, the mutual reproach, that’s not what we need right now to move the country forward.” The traffic light must “change to a different mode of operation,” warns Klingbeil.

SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert, on the other hand, counterattacks: He sees Habeck under pressure. “But I don’t think you should deal with the pressure in such a way that you’re just bagging in all directions because of it,” said Kühnert.

The FDP, on the other hand, is sticking to its criticism of Habeck’s heating plans and Minister for Building Klara Geywitz (SPD). Group leader Christian Dürr lets it be known that he thinks Habeck’s planned funding programs cannot be financed. Relying solely on the heat pump is also wrong. That doesn’t sound like an agreement.

Progress or Standstill?

The impatience of the Greens at the exam in Thuringia can be felt every minute. Group leader Dröge warns that something must finally move again in the coalition. That doesn’t sound like a progress coalition, but rather a standstill coalition.

The Greens use the attention of their retreat to set the tone for the coalition committee on Sunday. But that is also a risk. After all, Chancellor Scholz is known for reacting rather defensively to external pressure.

Dröge wants the clear words from Weimar to be understood as an invitation to the SPD and FDP to work more together instead of against each other. To the ARD Capital Studio she says she assumes that the Chancellor sees things the same way and that he too wants the coalition to work together as a team.

Return to “Team Traffic Light”

Suddenly the Greens are talking about the “traffic light team” during their retreat and emphasizing the similarities in social policy. Green party leader Ricarda Lang refers in an interview with the ARD Capital Studio to the joint resolutions of the coalition, such as the so-called Deutschlandticket or the electoral law reform.

She hopes that this will also help with climate protection: “We have a few big knots that have been building up lately. Now it’s time to cut the knots.”

Many knots in front of the coalition committee

Whether the knot will also break through in the heaters is an open question. It is not yet clear whether the heat transition will even be on the agenda of the coalition committee. In any case, the SPD, Greens and FDP want to discuss the topic of planning acceleration.

While the Greens want to plan and build rails and power grids faster, the FDP insists on the same speed in road construction. The compromise to speed up bridge construction as well has been on the table for months.

All three coalition partners emphasize only one thing: budget negotiations will not be held on Sunday evening. And with that, topics such as the Greens, which are so important for basic child protection, are also being postponed. The traffic light never runs out of conflict material.

source site