Traffic light summit in the Chancellery: stuck negotiations


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Status: 03/27/2023 10:22 a.m

The heads of the traffic light coalition have been deliberating in the Chancellery since yesterday evening. So far without any visible success. But the list of conflict issues is long. A lot has accumulated.

Actually, there should be no more night meetings, the traffic light coalition had announced that when they took office. But that was a good year ago. The leaders of the three-party government have been sitting in the chancellery for hours. The night has long since become day. Discussions on a number of conflict issues are ongoing. The list is long, a lot had backed up. In terms of content, but also in terms of atmosphere, things did not go well in the alliance recently.

There are differences in content, for example in the transport sector. The FDP wants not only railway lines to be built faster, but also motorways. The Greens rejected this in advance. They insisted on efforts for more climate protection in transport in order to achieve a turnaround. There could be a compromise here.

FDP cancels appointments

Plans to replace oil and gas heating systems and the financing of basic child security were also controversial. The FDP budget politician Otto Fricke said in the morning in Deutschlandfunk, for him the long negotiations are more of a sign that efforts are being made to find solutions through compromises. Because of the ongoing deliberations, the FDP canceled its presidium meeting and the subsequent press conference – they were originally planned for 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. respectively.

At 2 p.m. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) wants to travel to Rotterdam together with seven ministers for consultations with the Dutch government. This trip might not be easy to cancel.

“Intense struggle for solutions”

The First Parliamentary Secretary of the Greens, Irene Mihalic, said in ARD morning magazine: “We have a lot of tasks ahead of us that we urgently need to deal with, especially in the area of ​​the climate crisis.” A lot has already been achieved in the expansion of renewable energies, but now we also have to look at other areas. She mentioned heating in the building sector and transport.

Mihalic addressed the proposal for a gradual replacement of the heating system by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD). “Of course, these are also important points that need to be discussed intensively. And if the price is a night session, then please. But the main thing is that we are really struggling to find solutions.” She defended the plans, which provide for the installation of new heating systems from 2024, each of which will be operated with at least 65 percent renewable energy. This is necessary to ensure predictability.

Growing irritation

The meeting in the Chancellery takes place in a climate of growing irritation within the coalition. At the weekend there were again mutual accusations of blockades in the government alliance, but also calls for compromise.

In the days leading up to the meeting, coalition-internal conflicts of interest became particularly evident between the Greens and the FDP: The Greens complained about a lack of climate policy ambition in the coalition, and they feel that they are being held back in this area, which is important to them. The FDP points to the ever-shrinking budgetary leeway, they want to limit debt and avoid new burdens on citizens and the economy. The chancellor party SPD largely stayed out of the dispute, which in turn raised questions about Chancellor Scholz’s leadership strengths.

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