It’s not over yet. Armin Laschet, the “leader” of the most unsuccessful electoral performance of the CDU / CSU in recent decades in the German elections last Sunday is convinced of this. It is a thankless task for Laschet to try to collect Angela Merkel’s legacy. A curse that had already struck Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, defeated at her seat after the humiliations of recent years, and Ursula von der Leyen herself, sent to Brussels when perhaps she was hoping to take the place of her “protector” at the chancellery.
German elections, Laschet bets on the failure of the “traffic light” coalition
Still, Laschet still hopes he can become the next chancellor. His bet is clear: to see the corpse of the so-called “traffic light” coalition pass, or in short, to see the lights of that traffic light never turn on. This is a complicated bet. SPD leader Olaf Scholz has already shown that he is eclectic enough to find a deal with cross-cutting forces. So much so that he managed to present himself in a winning way as the true heir of Merkel despite belonging to the rival party.
Not only that, the third and fourth forces clearly have the ball in their hand. They know that if they find an agreement they will be able to play a crucial role in the next coalition. And at the same time they know that if they don’t find an agreement, as happened in 2017, there is a risk of a new grand coalition with both of them out of government. This is why the Greens and the Fdp liberals have wasted no time and have already begun to negotiate to find common ground in view of the negotiations for the formation of the government.
Verdi and Fdp seek an agreement: this is how they can choose between “traffic light” and “Jamaica”
Everything revolves around the figure of Christian Lindner. He knows that the party cannot risk being sucked into by the SPD and the Greens, both theoretically very far from the positions of the FDP, which would prefer to govern with the CDU / CSU. And here then the goal would be to obtain a key role, namely the Ministry of Finance. Basically a nightmare for Italy and for the countries that would like a revision of the stability pact and more flexible rules on the common debt. But Lindner seems determined to ask precisely for that position to give the green light to the traffic light.
Precisely on taxation and energy there are the greatest differences between the Greens and the FDP, which however both parties would like to be able to smooth out so as not to see their participation in the government fade. Scholz will act as an intermediary, convinced that he can successfully interact with both forces. In the event of failure, the role of Laschet would return to the topicality, and at that point he could hope for a “Jamaica” coalition. The reality, however, is that if the Fdp and Verdi did not find an agreement to govern with the SPD it would be equally difficult for them to find it to govern with the CDU / CSU. Unless downstream the two parties decide to opt for the “Jamaica” coalition. It will depend on the balance that Annalena Baerbock and Lindner will be able to find. It is clear that with a “traffic light” coalition Lindner claims a front row position, while with a “Jamaica” coalition he could give the go-ahead to greater concessions with the Greens, who at that point would find themselves in a coalition more biased towards the right.
In the case of the Grand Coalition Scholz Chancellor
A complicated game, always with the grand coalition hypothesis in the background. One more card actually available to Scholz, given that in the case of a CDU / SPD axis he should become chancellor since his party finished first. And given also the opening, caught by a few, during the electoral campaign in which Merkel said that it is not automatic that in the “next government” the chancellery belongs to the CDU / CSU.
The effects of the German vote on the EPP and on European equilibrium
Meanwhile, Merkel’s party is licking its wounds. Not only in Germany, but also in Europe, where there could also be consequences on the balance of the European parliament. The EPP, the largest community party, is downsized from second place in the German elections. And without Merkel’s fundamental role, something could also change in Brussels and Strasbourg. Also because the EPP has lost the leadership of several European countries, with the Socialists who, if they conquer the German chancellery, would continue to expand the presence of flags on the capitals of the Old Continent. Inevitable there may be some reflexes, while absurdly the EPP could seek redemption precisely in Europe with a more aggressive line, for example on appointments.