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.

Person Responsible For Party’s Record Low Implores Voters To Lift Her Party Out Of Record Low

They couldn’t have reached this low without you, Angie. And everybody here in Germany knows it.

This is where seventeen years of “taking the wind out of the opponent’s sails” slaps back in your face. You’ve turned what was once a conservative CDU/CSU into another SPD (Social Democrats – bourgeois socialists). You’re greener than the Greens. The Free Democrat FDP who stuck to their guns are back and more liberal (in the good sense) than ever but don’t have to have you as coalition partner anymore. Many staunch conservatives who still could jumped your CDU/CSU ship and are now with the EVIL AfD who no one will work with because nobody, your party included, likes competition, so they must be EVIL. And nobody likes the Mini-Merkel-Man you selected to succeed you. Other than that, though, things are looking good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Merkel implores Germans to back conservatives as they hit record low – Chancellor Angela Merkel made an impassioned plea to German voters on Tuesday to back her would-be successor Armin Laschet at this month’s national election, as an opinion poll showed support for their conservatives slumping to an all-time low.

The Forsa poll for RTL/n-tv put support for the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) at 25%, extending their lead over the conservative CDU/CSU bloc, who dropped 2 points from the previous week to 19%, which n-tv said was a record trough.

Hysteria Time

It’s just what the doctor ordered for the morally outraged. More moral outrage. The Nazis are coming back to Germany again or something. And again and again and again. Yawn.

FDP

Thomas Kemmerich, a liberal democrat from the FDP, became Thuringia’s new Minister-President on Wednesday (5 February), thanks to support from the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the far-right AfD– a first in post-war Germany.

So?

The real issue is a sour grapes kind of thang… In the final round of voting, Kemmerich surprisingly edged out the incumbent Bodo Ramelow, from the leftist Die Linke party, who was planning to build a minority coalition with the Greens and the social democratic SPD.

The AfD didn’t so much vote the FDP guy in – a party that will have nothing to do with them, by the way – as vote the red-redder-green folks out. Now that’s outrageous. Scheiße happens, folks.

More outrage here: “A candidate from the democratic center has won!”

Not Bad

The polling predictions made before the Bavarian election yesterday, I mean.

Polls

Whether the actual results are bad or not depends entirely upon your point of view.

The CSU’s drop was not quite as bad as predicted (although they will no longer be able to govern without a coalition partner), the SPD’s drop was breathtaking (the worst regional election result in their history) and the AfD did not get the votes that many had feared they would. This was probably due to the success of the regional “Free Voters” party (CSU-light) that will now most likely be the CSU’s coalition partner. The free market-friendly FDP just got in by the skin of their teeth with 5.1 percent of the vote (5 percent minimum needed). The Left didn’t make it in, as usual. The Greens made a huge leap forward but who cares? This is Bavaria and they don’t go for this utopian stuff so they’ll make a fine opposition party which is where they belong.

So it looks like Angie Merkel will live to resign another day, as usual.

Die CSU hat die absolute Mehrheit in Bayern verloren, sie kommt nach dem vorläufigen Endergebnis nur noch auf 37,2 Prozent. Die SPD erlebt ein Debakel. Wahlgewinner sind die Grünen, die Freien Wähler und die AfD.

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).