Status: 25/09/2023, 18:12 p.m.
By: Georg Anastasiadis
Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (left, SPD) in conversation with Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) and CDU leader Friedrich Merz. (Archive photo) © Kay Nietfeld/dpa/Collage
How does Germany solve its crises? The SPD and the CDU/CSU are getting closer again. Merz has made an immoral offer to the chancellor. A commentary by Georg Anastasiadis.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has certainly received more seductive offers in his life than opposition leader Friedrich Merz's offer (made at the CSU party congress, of all places) to throw the Greens out of government and solve the country's problems with the CDU and CSU instead. The end of the traffic light would be – especially against the background of the current polls – the capitulation of the People's Party SPD to the Union's claim to leadership. The hopelessly crappy traffic light coalition partners will not (yet) let it get that far.
And yet the premonition of a looming grand coalition is blowing through the crisis-ridden republic with the ominous rise of radicals such as the AfD and the "Last Generation".
Crises of the traffic light: SPD moves closer to the Union – especially in asylum policy
Not only the traffic light friends SPD, Greens and FDP, but also the Union and the Greens have become deeply estranged. The latter are again regarded by Merz and Söder as the "main opponents" alongside the AfD since Habeck's heating law drove a wedge into the country and also into the SPD electorate. It is not only the reconciliation of citizens with the climate policy pursued by the Greens with a crowbar that forces a rapprochement between the two major parties, the Union and the SPD, recognizable, for example, by the veto of the SPD Construction Minister Geywitz against new climate regulations.
In asylum policy, too, it is not possible without an alliance between the two – initially only informal. Although the SPD still rejects the CDU/CSU's battle cry "upper limit", it no longer rejects the idea behind it of a turning point in the fight against illegal immigration. The interior minister's announcement that she will now start stationary controls at the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic is the symbol of the SPD's capitulation to reality and pressure from the municipalities.
The Greens are still a long way from being that far and, due to their DNA, probably never will be, no matter how much their minister Habeck urges the party to be more pragmatist and tune in to moral asylum dilemmas. The job of making the country weatherproof against storms that threaten democracy must be done by others. (Georg Anastasiadis)