It has now been almost 16 years since the last time the Greens sat in the federal government. Far too long from the point of view of the eco-party. If there is another election in autumn, the Greens will finally want to return to power.
How urgent, you can see from her election manifesto. “Ready because you are,” is the title. Or as Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock said in her closing statement on Sunday at the party congress: You have “an election program that wants to do”.
In any case, the Grünenspitze has done a lot this weekend to keep all government options open. It was about not driving in too large stakes that would make the Greens vulnerable in the election campaign and make potential coalition negotiations more difficult. The board of directors fended off extreme positions in climate, social and foreign policy.
What does this mean for possible allies after the election? What do the Greens do with their program if they can choose the government alliance? The coalition check.
Pro: Union and Greens – those were two different planets in earlier years. But conservatives and eco-parties have long since come closer, and six federal states are already ruling together.
Regardless of the current program, there are certainly arguments for a black-green alliance. It would be a coalition based on a broad social majority. An important prerequisite for meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. In addition, one would hardly have to worry about not getting one’s own projects through the Federal Council.
When it comes to the climate in particular, there are links in terms of content. The CO2-The Union wants to increase the price similar to the Greens. There should also be financial compensation. Union Chancellor candidate Armin Laschet is thinking more of the commuter allowance, while the Greens want to relieve the burden with a lump sum.
Against: Laschet has already made it clear what he thinks of the Greens program: tax increases for top earners? “A very wrong idea.” The commitment to a higher minimum wage? “An outbid competition.” Laschet’s conclusion: “In terms of content, the FDP is much closer to us than the Greens.”
Laschet is of course right in principle. In the end, the Greens acted as emphatically social, their program largely contains clearly left-wing positions that would hardly be feasible in this form with the Union. Some Green politicians consider a lot of it to be negligible social folklore, for others, Hartz IV abandonment and the fight against rent are, on the other hand, maximally identifying.
On top of that, at the weekend the Grünenspitze prevented the demand for the abolition of the debt brake from being written into the program. Nevertheless, the Greens want the Union’s sanctuary to be softened in order to create space for investment.
In principle, the CDU and CSU are still an enemy of some Greens. That should not get any better if the next Union parliamentary group includes proven right-wing politicians like ex-Constitutional Protection President Hans-Georg Maaßen.
Pro: For the Greens, there is a central advantage of a traffic light as well as a center-left alliance: If they don’t fall further in the polls, they could make Annalena Baerbock chancellor in this coalition – even if they don’t end up in front of the Union.
And otherwise, from the perspective of many Greens, a coalition with the SPD and FDP would be the ideal solution among the realistic options. Because not only with the Social Democrats, but also with the FDP, the Greens certainly have something in common: in the much-cited civil rights, for example.
The traffic light could also sell itself as a modernization alliance, put digitization at the center of its work and score with popular individual measures – something of the legalization of cannabis.
Against: There has been a discussion group between politicians from the Greens and Liberals for some time, but after the end of the Jamaica negotiations in 2017, there is still great mistrust.
FDP leader Christian Lindner also drew a hard red line for coalition negotiations: He declared tax increases a taboo. In connection with their adherence to the debt brake, the Liberals are thus calling into question the Greens’ entire concept of financing and justice. They want to raise the top tax rate and tax assets – at least that’s what it says in the program. The Greens need this income to pay for their social policy.
Here, too, the question is likely to be who will prevail among them in the end: the FDP sympathizers or the party left. One hope that is widespread among the Greens, however, seems more like a dream: that the liberals sympathetic to them will overthrow party leader Linder after the election and thus make conversations easier. Hard to imagine in view of the FDP’s soaring poll numbers.
Pro: “If we as Greens take our content seriously, a coalition with the Union is actually out of the question,” said Green Youth leader Anna Peters recently to SPIEGEL. One could also say: If the Greens want to write as much of their program as possible in a coalition agreement, they inevitably have to govern with the SPD and the Left.
Minimum wage, citizens’ insurance, Hartz-IV-Aus, arms limitation, women’s policy, redistribution – the list of overlaps is significantly longer than in the traffic lights or in black and green. The SPD and the Left have long since moved closer to the Greens when it comes to the climate. There are also great cultural similarities.
Against: When it comes to foreign policy in particular, many Greens do not trust their comrades. In its program, the left calls for the withdrawal from NATO and the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from abroad. Leading leftists have indicated their willingness to talk to the radical positions on several occasions. The only question is: would all of your group members also stick to compromises?
The Greens keep saying that Green-Red-Red should have an impressive majority – in order not to risk that individual left hardliners block the coalition or even bring it down.
In any case, the differences between the Greens and the Left cannot be overlooked. An example: while many comrades are trying to be lenient towards Russia, the Greens now invited Svetlana Tichanowskaja, opposition member from Belarus, which is supported by the Kremlin, to their party conference.
Basically, it was recently the Greens who moved in foreign policy and thus distanced themselves from the SPD and the left, especially on military issues. Party leader Robert Habeck recently brought arms deliveries to Ukraine into play. And at their party congress, the Greens made a remarkable decision: they no longer categorically reject the procurement of armed drones.