The FDP Decides

It seems pretty clear to me who the next German Finance Minister will be.

Their boss, Christian Linder, will get the job. If he doesn’t, it won’t come to this odd coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP.

Lindner and the FDP stand for low taxes, debt limitation and a hard line towards Germany’s European partners. The climate crisis is to be addressed by private investment and carbon pricing. The Greens, by contrast, have put climate first – and for that reason advocate large-scale investment, lifting Germany’s “debt brake”, and a pro-European policy that continues the steps taken in 2020 towards common, debt-financed investment policy. It is precisely in these policy areas – where the differences between the Greens (and the SPD) and the FDP are greatest – that the finance ministry is critical.

German Of The Day: Zitrus-Koalition

That means “citrus coalition.” The Greens have green as their party color (what a surprise) and the FDP has yellow.

Germany’s Kingmakers – Difficult Talks Ahead for Greens and Free Democrats – The Green Party and the business-friendly Free Democrats plan to hold exploratory talks with each other before meeting with the main chancellor candidates in the coming days. They appear to be worlds apart but are already finding some common ground…

FDP leader Christian Lindner also continued Monday with the message he initiated on election night: measured praise for the potential coalition partner. The Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) are not parties of change, he said. In talks between his party and the Greens, it would therefore be necessary to examine “whether, despite all the differences, this could become the progressive center of a new coalition government,” even if that seems like a bit of a stretch.

German Of The Day: Königmacher

That means kingmaker.

You know, as in Germany’s FDP party (classic liberal, business-friendly)? They will most likely decide what kind of coaltion Germany will now get. Either SPD-Green-FDP or CDU-Green-FDP. Unless, of course, negotiations fail and they go back to another grand goalition of CDU-SPD, which absolutely nobody wants.

Germany’s FDP holds strong cards in post-election haggling – Buoyant from its best election result in 10 years, Germany’s liberal FDP party looks set to play a outsized role in coalition negotiations to form the next government…

The FDP wants to avoid tax increases and preserve Germany’s cherished debt brake, while the SPD and the Greens want to raise the minimum wage, increase taxes for the wealthy and and invest public money in tackling climate change.

The coalition issue is extremely difficult for the FDP. Its members do not want the FDP to be propping up a left-wing government,” said political scientist Oskar Niedermeyer of the Free University of Berlin.

More Down, Down, Down, Down, Down

Just when you thought Germany’s SPD couldn’t sink any further…

SPD

The Genossen (comrades) figure out a way to do it. I never really believed that the Volkspartei (people’s party with a broad base) SPD could ever actually disappear into the sunset forever but now I’m just not so sure anymore.

Germany’s SPD slip in polls after choosing new leftist leaders – Support for Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) has fallen after members last week chose as leaders a leftist duo who are skeptical about remaining in government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, a poll showed on Saturday.

A Forsa poll put the SPD on 11%, 3 points down from a week ago and hitting a low last seen in June after previous leader Andrea Nahles quit due following the party’s worst-ever result in elections to the European Parliament.

You know the lyrics, folks. I’m going down. Down, down, down, down, down.

 

Enthusiasm?

Where’s the enthusiasm? That’s what Spiegel Online asks regarding Germany’s next coming grand coalition government.

Enthusiasm

I know that’s not a serious question but how could there possibly be any enthusiasm for the forming of a government that the electorate expressly voted out of office just a few months previously? Everybody but Merkel & Co. are depressed about this depressing matter and are going to stay that way until the new GroKo government – that isn’t even in power yet – finally exits the political stage  for good.

Imagine that. You aren’t even in office yet and everybody already hates you. That’s never happened before, right?

With the Social Democrats having approved a new coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany finally has a government. Despite the breakthrough, however, enthusiasm is in short supply in Berlin.

German Voters To Get What They Voted Out Of Office After All?

Oh boy. Everyone is so excited. I, for one, can hardly contain myself.

Back

Merkel is back (sure, she never left in the first place but still).

Schulz is back.

The GroKo is back.

Back to back.

Hey, once you go back you never go back.

Back to the future? Hardly.

What is it going to take to get them off my back?

German politicians have achieved a breakthrough in talks aimed at forming a new coalition government. A blueprint for formal negotiations was agreed between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their former coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD).

German Of The Day: KoKo

It’s kind of like a GroKo, only it’s a KoKo instead.

KoKo

It’s some crazy new SPD invention – cooperation coalition – to make the folks who just voted them out of office forget about the GroKo they were a way big part of – the main reason they got voted out of office, by the way. KoKo sounds better, I guess. And it isn’t a GroKo anymore, see? So the people will like the KoKo. If they’re coo coo they will. But they’re not. So this word will only be around for a few hours, folks. Enjoy it while it’s here.

SPD und Union ringen um eine neue Bundesregierung. GroKo ja oder nein? Ist „KoKo“ vom Tisch?

PS: Get your free sample of Brain Quest – A Fantastic Voyage through the Progressive Mind today! Do not attempt reading if you have a medical condition.

German Of The Day: Jamaika-Aus

That means, sadly, the collapse of the Jamaica talks to form a CDU/CSU/FDP/Green government. And is, coincidentally, Germany’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Jamaica

Sadly because the SPD has now been given the chance to come out of its we’re-absolutely-positively-never-ever-going-to-come-out-of-opposition pout after getting creamed during this year’s election. The SPD can do this kind of 180 degree turn stuff. Nobody cares. Just like nobody cares about who the chancellor is, apparently.

Denoting the ongoing failure to form a governing majority in German, Jamaica Out was one of several political neologisms chosen by the Society for German Language (GfdS) on Friday for its Word of the Year, which has been awarded since 2009.

PS: This kind of stuff gives me a hangover. I think I’ll drive over to the new Denny’s in Hanover and order me some pancakes or something (this article says Denny’s is where you go in US-Amerika for your hangover breakfast).

Kenya, Jamaica, It’s All Rhineland-Palatinate To Me

Or, if you prefer, German of the day: Koalition.

Palette

That means coalition, as in coalition government. And a working one is going to be hard to conjure up after the mixed results of Sunday’s state government elections in Germany (no one is willing to work together with the AfD).

SEVERAL German states, and perhaps the whole country one day, may have a political future as Kenya or Jamaica. Or as a traffic light. Germany could also become Germany, and other things besides. Unfortunately such talk—which is all the rage among German wonks since three regional elections on March 13th—makes little sense to people outside of Germany. That is because it refers to the colours of political parties and the coalitions they could form to produce governing majorities. Thus a “Kenyan” government would be some combination of black, red and green, as on Kenya’s flag. Jamaica would mean black, yellow and green. A traffic light would be red, yellow and green. Germany would be black, red and yellow. Motley as these descriptions may be, they point to a bigger change in Germany’s political landscape since March 13th. What is going on?

Der FDP-Bundesvorsitzende Christian Lindner steht einer von der SPD geführten rot-grün-gelben Koalition mit FDP und Grünen in Rheinland-Pfalz wohlwollend gegenüber.