Is the traffic light coming? That should be decided on Friday

BerlinNext Friday it will probably be decided whether Germany will get a traffic light coalition or not. This can be seen from the statements made by the three general secretaries of the SPD, Greens and FDP after the exploratory talks on Tuesday. The negotiators of the three parties had met over the past two days to delve deeper. The next appointment is scheduled for Friday. Until then, the three general secretaries and their teams should work out a paper on the basis of which one could then start actual coalition negotiations from next week. Or maybe not.

The SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil was confident that the traffic lights would work. “I am sure that we can overcome all the hurdles that lie ahead of us,” he said. “Germany needs a government that can tackle the big tasks.” He mentioned above all the topics of digitization, climate and European policy.

We have a joint responsibility here, said Klingbeil. But it has also become clear that one has to take the citizens with us and show that “politics is thinking of them” and offer them a safe path in the transformation. He expressly thanked the teams from the other two parties. Now they have two days of intensive work ahead of them, in which a paper has to be prepared which “shows that there is a common understanding”.

Klingbeil’s colleagues from the Greens and FDP, Michael Kellner and Volker Wissing, returned the courtesies, but were a little less optimistic. Kellner said the conversations were very intense. “We didn’t read the party programs to each other, but talked about the important issues in the country.” The number of similarities has increased and the number of differences has become smaller. “But there is still a lot to be done.”

Volker Wissing put it similarly for the FDP. His conclusion was – judging by the facial expressions – a little more restrained than that of the other two. They spoke to each other in a good tone. The written formulation of the whole, which is now pending, is “the hour of truth”. We’ll see what we can wear together. He confirmed that the paper, due on Friday, will be the basis for further decisions. “We don’t want to inspire ourselves with lip service, we want to convince ourselves with facts.”

Contents of what exactly will be included in it were not announced on Tuesday. The Green Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, had said when leaving the building that on Tuesday, among other things, Europe and migration had been discussed. But the secretaries-general did not even want to confirm that. Klingbeil pointed out that they had agreed not to disclose intermediate results because they had learned from the experiences of 2017. At that time, a Jamaica coalition made up of the Union, Greens and FDP failed because the Liberals broke off coalition negotiations.

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