The contours of Germany’s new federal administration are beginning to appear just a few days after the general election. The Greens and the Liberal Democrats (FDP) have taken the initiative to initiate preliminary discussions. Green Party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck met with FDP head Christian Lindner and FDP Secretary-General Volker Wissing as early as Tuesday evening for private talks, the location and subject of which were kept under wraps.
Following the talks, all four participants shared a photo on Instagram depicting their erstwhile election campaign opponents as trusted friends. It reads: “In the search for a new government, we seek common ground and bridges over divisions. And even find some. It’s an exciting time.” The Greens and FDP had more consultations on Friday. “The first substantive issues will be deepened,” stated FDP Secretary General Wissing. Following that, the two parties want to hold separate talks with the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU). The Greens will meet with the SPD on Sunday, while the FDP will meet with the CDU/CSU.
Because all parties have so far ruled out forming a governing coalition with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), a government majority will require both the Greens and the FDP. The sole option to a “traffic light” coalition (SPD, Greens, FDP) or a “Jamaica” coalition (CDU/CSU, Greens, FDP)—named after the corresponding party colors—would be to maintain the present grand alliance between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. However, neither the CDU/CSU nor the SPD are in favor of this. The SPD’s Olaf Scholz is widely seen as the most probable next chancellor, having emerged from the election as the strongest party, with a 1.6 percentage point lead over the CDU/CSU. Despite his party’s terrible defeats, CDU leader Arnim Laschet continues to seek the chancellorship.
According to FAZ editor Berthold Kohler, CSU leader Markus Söder may run for chancellor of a Jamaica coalition. He may have lost the election to become the CDU/candidate CSU’s for the chancellor to Laschet, but that has no legal ramifications. The Bundestag (federal parliament) has the authority to choose any German citizen as chancellor; he or she does not even have to be a member of parliament. Irrespective of who ends up as the next chancellor of Germany, the alliance between the FDP and the Greens reveals the nature of the next administration. In the face of mounting resistance, it will be a right-wing administration, implementing enormous social cuts, widespread layoffs, herd immunity measures, the establishment of an authoritarian police state, and an expedited military buildup.