The furious false start of the Greens

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That got completely out of hand on Thursday. Actually, the Greens wanted to start their digital member survey about the coalition agreement in the event hall at Westhafen in the afternoon. For this purpose, the names of the future ministers should also be announced. Instead, behind the scenes, there was a power struggle between Realos and Fundis – the timing could not have been worse.

The federal-state summit of the Greens was planned as an online event, so only a few people sat in the large hall in which the coalition agreement had been presented 24 hours earlier by the traffic light parties. There was therefore only sparse applause when Robert Habeck began his speech. But that wasn’t the only reason why there was something desperate about the whole thing. Habeck took up the mood, talked about the fact that there was little euphoria to be noticed these days. According to Habeck, this is due to the corona crisis, which is worsening more and more. He speaks of the panel of experts that the new government will set up and that it is human comfort that one has slipped into this avoidable situation. In the evening he will repeat that again on Maybrit Illner’s talk show and sound unconvincing. The others prefer to know what specific corona measures the traffic light has to offer.

Now in the afternoon he’ll get the curve to the coalition agreement and the issues of the future, which he will take care of. One wants to “build a pattern for a policy of the future”. The treaty, he admits, is not a green election manifesto, but a guideline for a new government made up of three parties. He admits that they “fought for a slightly different exploration” in the allocation of departments. Everyone had expected that the Greens would get the transport department, which is important for climate policy, but that went to the FDP of all people. Shaping the issues of environment, economy, climate and agriculture, which otherwise would have always worked against each other, is also an opportunity, says Habeck. He speaks of the ministries as a “clover leaf” and that the Foreign Office is the flower of this. One could blaspheme this literally flowery language, but there is something desperate about Habeck’s speech that makes one sit up and take notice. He himself mentioned the exhausting election campaign and that negotiations continued immediately afterwards. “It would be very good to be able to breathe again,” says Habeck.

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But the Greens are making it difficult for themselves. While the future super minister and vice chancellor is campaigning for the approval of the members, there is a blow and stabbing for the posts in the back rooms. The point is that Cem Özdemir, who won his direct mandate in Baden-Württemberg furiously, should also be in the cabinet. The personality has been virulent for a long time. When Özdemir was not appointed to the exploratory team, it caused quite a stir.

The 55-year-old is not undisputed in his party. It can also be said that many do not like him. This is partly due to the time when he was at the head of the party with Fundi woman Susanne Peter. The cooperation did not work at all, which was often blamed on Özdemir. But he is very popular with the public, which was not least shown by his election results: Almost 40 percent voted for him. And: He has Turkish roots, so he would be the first minister with a corresponding migration background. Can you do without one if you want to set up a successful and diverse green management team?

It is an absolute mystery why the Greens allow the conflict to escalate at the last second. In the evening, a maximally frustrated Anton Hofreiter flies out of the cabinet: Özdemir is now to become Minister of Agriculture. But because a Fundi has to cut back in favor of a Reallos, the whole calculation of the Greens no longer fits. The realo-woman Katrin Göring-Eckardt is also thrown out of the tableau, instead Anne Spiegel from the cabinet of Malu Dreyer becomes Federal Minister for Family Affairs. As a consolation, Göring-Eckardt is to become Vice President of the Bundestag. Claudia Roth still has the job, who will be Minister of State for Culture. Steffi Lemke takes over the Ministry of the Environment. Let’s see how the ministers get started. But one thing is already clear: it can only get better for the Greens.

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