Berlin – The list is long: a police officer; a successor for the outgoing data protection officer; a transparency law that is intended to regulate access to the information held by the administration; the last part of the Mobility Act, which should be about fewer parking spaces, narrower streets and higher fees; an amendment to the building regulations aimed at more climate protection, which among other things provides for a green roof. These are all projects that the red-red-green coalition in Berlin will no longer realize. On the last few meters, shortly before the election on September 26, it becomes clear that the alliance has come to an end.
“Shaping Berlin together. Solidaric. Consistent. Cosmopolitan. ”This is what it says about the coalition agreement that the SPD, the Left and the Greens jointly formulated and decided in December 2016. Much of this was implemented, but above all the words “together” and “solidarity” apparently became increasingly difficult to hold out. In addition, it is part of every government that some legislative proposals are not implemented. There is no coalition agreement that is being worked through in full.
After five years together, red-red-green wore itself out through the eternal and, in three-person constellations, naturally particularly laborious search for compromises. It got caught in a web of tethered businesses that seemed to consist more and more of pitfalls and stumbling blocks. According to the motto: If you fail my candidate for position xy, I will block the law z, which is so important to you. That is everyday life in politics. But it’s also very exhausting.
In the special Berlin case, you have to know that the left and the Greens in particular had one thing in mind right from the start: The big partner SPD, headed by the Governing Mayor, should not be allowed to pursue rowdy basta politics, as the Social Democrats at the end of their previous ones Coalition with the CDU had drilled through many times. They wanted to be on an equal footing, under no circumstances should there be a cook-waiter relationship like the one between Gerhard Schröder and Joschka Fischer back then.
But appeals to community spirit, solidarity and fairness also need to pay off. Each party has to serve its own people and clientele. And it is part of the truth that the SPD, of all people, with its long-time weak fore-husband Michael Müller in the red-red-green cosmos did not succeed very well. It has slipped even further to the left in the past five years – be it out of conviction or out of pragmatism – and as a result, it has become less and less recognizable. And where she tried to counter it, there was prompt gossip with indignant leftists and Greens. The fact that they then say, à la Rudi Carrell, “Because it’s only the SPD to blame” is part of the soundtrack of this coalition.
As if a three-person marriage wasn’t complicated enough, ten days from now there is an especially complicated choice to come. Incumbent Müller stops, his designated successor Franziska Giffey is following a tough line of demarcation between red and green. The calculation is that the SPD has to raise its profile and emancipate itself to the maximum in order to actually hold the Red City Hall on September 26th.
Greens, leftists and their big bubble in left-green Berlin have not missed an opportunity since then to revile the SPD woman as backward and conservative, as one who ingratiates herself with the CDU and FDP. So if a personality or a law fails in the last few meters, it is due to Giffey’s bad influence on the SPD people who are still ruling at the moment. So goes the story.
It is by no means said that there will not be a re-edition of R2G after the election. For the Greens, despite all the unreasonable public demands, this is still the desired alliance – albeit under their own leadership, of course. A coalition with the CDU plus x actually hardly seems possible in Berlin. So what was left for the Greens? And for the left, R2G is the only power option anyway.
That leaves the SPD. Franziska Giffey has so far been practicing a Sphinx-like attitude when it comes to possible alliances. She doesn’t move. So maybe there will actually be a new edition. And then you could make all the unfinished business for various reasons again. That’s how politics works.