Traffic light partner optimistic: Coalition agreement next week

In some points it is “unexpectedly fast” – but there are probably also thick boards to be drilled. Nevertheless, the traffic light negotiators exude confidence: their contract should be in place soon.

Berlin – The “traffic light” is on schedule: Next week the SPD, Greens and FDP want to present a coalition agreement for a joint government. There are still thick boards to be drilled, but everything can be solved, said the three general secretaries in an interim conclusion on the state of negotiations.

Above all, the FDP and SPD emphasized that some things are progressing faster than expected. But the Greens, too, from whose ranks there had been criticism of the climate compromises in particular, expressed themselves hopefully. “I am satisfied with many of the intermediate results achieved,” said Greens federal manager Michael Kellner. He added: “There are still many thick boards to be drilled.” But things are going well.

The 21 main negotiators are currently discussing the results of 22 political working groups. It is the task of the top teams to resolve the conflicts that have not yet been resolved. On Monday they had already sat together for more than nine hours. SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz was then satisfied. “Everything is going very, very well and constructively,” he said at the economic summit of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. It was possible to untie a number of knots in such a way that things could go on “properly”.

Thoroughness over speed

Kellner and FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing now also spoke of a very good and constructive atmosphere. The topics would be discussed in great detail. In doing so, thoroughness comes before speed, emphasized Kellner. Therefore, further advice should not only be given on Wednesday and Friday, but also on the coming Monday.

In the course of the coming week, the partners then endeavored to come to a coalition agreement. However, the general secretaries did not want to set a date: “As you know, the week has seven days,” said Kellner. Wissing emphasized that one did not want to be rushed.

So far, the SPD in particular has been in a hurry to get a coalition agreement together. The aim is for Scholz to be elected Chancellor and sworn in his cabinet in the week from December 6th. Then Scholz, as Chancellor, could go to the EU summit in Brussels in mid-December.

But the schedule is tight, because the party leaders do not alone decide on the formation of a coalition. In the case of the FDP and SPD, party congresses are to vote beforehand, and the members of the Greens are to be questioned. The parties estimate that this will take about two weeks.

SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil showed no time pressure. Every day of the negotiations is worth it, he stressed. A red-green-yellow coalition could fundamentally change something in Germany. Recently he became more and more convinced “that we can do it well”. In many places, the programs of the three very different parties have already been brought together well. “We have already united a lot,” he said. But there are also “conflicts that we will talk about intensively”.

General secretaries are covered

The general secretaries did not reveal anything about substantive agreements or disputes. In addition to the content-related construction sites, one more question is likely to have explosive power: the allocation of departments. So far, according to reports, no one has spoken about which party gets which ministry – but it should come on the table in the next round of negotiations. If there is a coalition agreement, this question will also be clarified, said the general secretaries.

The negotiators did not want to comment on open questions about their line in the fight against corona – for example on mandatory vaccination for employees in nursing homes. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt sharply criticized the traffic light groups. “The traffic light is clearly malfunctioning”, it is insufficiently prepared for the strain on the health system and is lagging behind the current development. dpa

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