High time to consider coalition with Greens and Left Party, says Berlin’s SPD mayor

Berlin's governing mayor, Michael Müller (SPD), called on his party to explore the possibilities for an alliance with the SPD, the Left Party and the Greens. [Omer Messiger/epa] [Omer Messiger/ epa]

The prospect of a left-wing alliance in Bremen is reviving the political debate in Germany. Could the German Social Democrats (SPD), Left Party (Linkspartei) and the Greens form a federal coalition soon? EURACTIV’s media partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.

Following the decision of the Bremen Greens to negotiate with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Left Party (Linkspartei) on a regional government, the debate on a red-red-green (R2G) alliance at the federal government level has gained momentum.

Berlin’s governing mayor, Michael Müller (SPD), called on his party to explore the possibilities for such an alliance with renewed seriousness.

“Of course, a tripartite coalition is always more challenging than a two-party coalition. And especially at the government level, an R2G coalition will not be a sure-fire success,” Müller told the Tagesspiegel, but added:

“And after the experience of the last years, we must finally examine such an option seriously”.

In Berlin, the R2G coalition is proving that a good social policy for all can be achieved with a targeted focus on science, investment in social infrastructure, free education, a climate-friendly mobility policy and an active rent policy.

“This is the goal of social democratic politics,” Müller added.

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With regard to Bremen, party chief of the Christian Democrats (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer(AKK), however, warned against such an alliance in government.

“Those who form a coalition with the left in Bremen will also do so in the federal government in case of doubt,” she told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The Bremen case shows that “in case of doubt, the Greens do not opt for conservative, but  rather for left-wing politics.”

The deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Karl Lauterbach, called for his party to commit itself to the goal of a red-red-green coalition.

“Major solutions for the important issues of taxes, rents and climate protection are only possible with a red-red-green alliance,” he told Der Tagesspiegel.

“We must make our preference clear. Voters want to know what we stand for,” he added.

The Left Party (Linkspartei) also welcomed the decision in Bremen as a signal for the federal government.

Faction leader Sahra Wagenknecht noted that a change of course by the SPD would be a prerequisite for such an alliance. Germany needs a government that “strives for greater social equality”, she told the regional newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

The left would participate in such a government.

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Green faction leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt does not necessarily see the decision in Bremen as a signal for the federal government. Regional associations decide independently, she said.

However, her party friend and former Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin, from the left wing of the party, spoke clearly in favour of a left-wing alliance.

“When it comes to the question of whether there is a social responsibility for the community, the Greens, the SPD and the Left are much closer than the Greens and the CDU, the Greens and the CSU or even the Greens and the FDP,” she said.

Brandenburg’s Minister President Dietmar Woidke (SPD), on the other hand, was critical of the participation of the Left Party in the federal government. In Brandenburg, his party governs with them.

On the TV programme Berlin Direkt, which airs on the public television ZDF, Woidke said the Left Party had to “review its attitude on international issues” before the red-red-green option could become a reality.

The SPD politician pointed out that the Left Party rejects NATO membership and many aspects of German EU membership.

As long as it does not change these positions, “the Left cannot participate in the federal government,” Woidke said.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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