For the CDU, the Greens and the FDP, things should now move quickly in Kiel on the way to a coalition. Meanwhile, Green Party leader Habeck counters party colleague Trittin.
Want no "Gockeleien", actually: the negotiators of the Greens Monika Heinold and Robert Habeck Photo: dpa
Now everything should go very quickly. This week, negotiations between the CDU, the Greens and the FDP on the formation of a Jamaica coalition begin in Kiel. Less than two weeks later, on June 13, the agreement should already be in place. In just four thematic rounds, the parties want to resolve their seemingly irreconcilable differences on a number of points. As a precaution, however, a reserve date has been set. If the CDU party congress and the Green and Yellow party bases subsequently agree, the new government will be elected in the state parliament on June 28.
Before that, however, it is important to come to a non-ideological agreement. In the area of financial and budgetary policy, the first point of negotiation on Thursday, a rapid agreement is expected. All three parties want balanced budgets. The nationwide bubbling tax revenues are helpful here, but they also arouse desires. Green negotiator Monika Heinold, however, who has been the bone-dry finance minister for five years, will not move an inch more than is unavoidable.
A veritable problem in domestic and refugee policy is the existing deportation ban to Afghanistan, which the CDU and FDP want to lift. Green parliamentary group leader Eka von Kalben, who along with Heinold, previous Environment Minister Robert Habeck and party leader Ruth Kastner make up the Green negotiating quartet, called this "inhumane" in taz.nord. On this point, the CDU in particular, which claims the Interior Ministry for itself, will have to jump over its shadow.
Another point of contention is likely to be social policy. Habeck sees the Green perspective in a Jamaica coalition as "becoming more left-wing. In alliance with the CDU and FDP, this is likely to include a Green takeover of social policy. Here, however, the party still has to sharpen its profile. And the Greens will hardly get the social affairs portfolio – that’s what FDP state leader Heiner Garg wants, who already held the post in the black-yellow state government from 2009 to 2012. And Heinold and Habeck want to stay where they are: in the finance and environment and energy ministries.
There are also considerable differences between the three parties on transport and energy policy, agriculture and school policy. Daniel Gunther, the future prime minister of the CDU, wants to abolish the eight-year turbo baccalaureate as quickly as possible and across the board, while Green Party parliamentary group leader Kalben warns of "new debates about the school structure.
Conflicts can be resolved
With good will on the part of all parties, however, the conflicts seem solvable. "If you really want it, you can also find substantive solutions," Habeck believes. FDP man Garg affirms, "The willingness to pull together is there among all partners." On a human level, too, all the leaders get along, despite earlier rivalries.
In the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Habeck instead criticized his party colleague Jurgen Trittin, who had advised the FDP to form a traffic light coalition in Kiel: "When you have two big partners to choose from, you take the smaller one, then you have more of the cake." This statement, Habeck said, had "effectively blocked" a traffic light. "Anyone who declares politics to be a power hustle loses all credibility."
Politics should not be declared a "power struggle," Habeck criticizes
One thing is clear: The Jamaica alliance will need discipline, and there will be no room for excessive attempts at profiling. Habeck clearly warns against "gockeleien," especially directed at the FDP and its all-purpose weapon Wolfgang Kubicki. Daniel Gunther therefore pledged that all partners would be sufficiently reflected in the coalition agreement: "We will work together as equals."
In the event that "Jamaica" fails, a new election looms. This is because the alternatives – grand coalition or red-green-yellow traffic light – have been vehemently ruled out by the SPD and FDP.
Meanwhile, a two-thirds majority is needed for the state parliament to be dissolved: In addition to the Jamaica partners, the SPD or AfD would also have to join in. The SPD, however, has already declared that it is not available for this, and no one wants to rely on the help of the right-wing populists. In that case, the coastal coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the SSW, which was voted out of office, would remain in office until after the federal elections on September 24. But no one wants that either. The pressure for "Jamaica" is therefore powerful.