The harmony of the traffic lights after the closed conference does not last long: SPD General Secretary Kühnert wants to “fight about the right way” and is focusing on “primitive social democratic” issues. And while the FDP says “no more social reforms”, the SPD and the Greens are protesting.
The traffic light coalition is divided – still. The harmony demonstrated at the cabinet meeting in Meseberg has not changed that.
And that will probably remain so in the future, believes SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert. He believes debates in the coalition are necessary in order to achieve his party’s goals. You can’t get anything out of supposed harmony on controversial issues. “We have to fight for the right way. And sometimes there has to be a crunch if it’s for the right cause,” said Kühnert in the ARD morning magazine.
Kühnert sits down social democratic subjects
The SPD shouldn’t “just work stupidly through what we wrote down in the coalition agreement, but also bring new impetus.” Kühnert calls on his party to do more for social democratic issues in the governing coalition. And he referred to the “original social democratic” elements in the policy of the traffic light coalition, such as the increase in the minimum wage, child benefit and housing benefit and the introduction of the Germany ticket.
However, high inflation puts these achievements into perspective in everyday life. That’s why it’s “important to strengthen purchasing power,” said the SPD general secretary. Kühnert spoke in im ARD morning magazine once again called for the introduction of an industrial electricity price, which Chancellor Olaf Scholz has so far rejected. Kühnert also assured the Chancellor that he knew that energy-intensive industries needed support. However, Scholz and the SPD wanted “no permanent subsidy and no watering can”.
SPD and Greens: no stop to social reforms
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai had described the basic child security to the “Bild” newspaper as “the last major socio-political reform of this legislative period”. In view of inflation and high interest rates, it cannot be about expanding the welfare state. Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner had already made a similar statement when presenting the agreement on basic child security.
Politicians from the SPD and the Greens criticize this rejection of further social reforms. “It would be news to me that the Secretary General of the FDP could simply delete projects from the coalition agreement,” said the socio-political spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Martin Rosemann, of the “Bild” newspaper. “During this legislative period, I’m still thinking about the pension package, for example, and we will of course implement that as agreed.”
Green Group Vice President Andreas Audretsch also referred to the planned pension reform. “As a traffic light, we have made an important reform with the citizens’ allowance to give people new opportunities in life, we are taking a giant step with basic child security to get families out of poverty, and of course we will also look after a good and stable take care of your pension.”
“Have a bad one federal government”
The Union is critical of the government’s course. “Germany doesn’t have a bad economy, it has a bad federal government,” says a 14-page Sauerland declaration. At a meeting of the CDU and CSU, the Union parties called for the weakening economy to be boosted and at the same time to relieve people and companies quickly and noticeably.
The executive board of the CDU/CSU MPs approved the paper on Thursday evening under the direction of parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz and CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt. The package of measures contains proposals from the CDU/CSU opposition faction – however, the Union faction cannot implement them alone at the moment.