Expropriation of deutsche wohnen: coalition talks about expropriation

A meeting between the heads of the parliamentary groups and the initiative is surprisingly constructive. Will R2G adopt the initiative’s concerns before a referendum?

The spirits of the coalition Photo: dpa

Do the government factions of the SPD, Left and Greens take over the goal of the referendum Deutsche Wohnen and Co. expropriate and thus make a referendum superfluous? Which was hardly conceivable so far, seems possible since a discussion of the parliamentary group leaders with the Aktivist*innen on Monday evening.

Anne Helm, who took part in the discussion as the leader of the parliamentary group of the Left Party, was "surprised" in an interview with the taz about the offers of discussion by all parties involved. All party representatives had emphasized that they agreed on the goal – the transfer of "a tolerable number of private apartments into municipal ownership. However, it was questionable whether the Greens and SPD would also support the means chosen by the initiative, a socialization law under Article 15 of the Basic Law. This is to be explored in further talks, possibly as early as the week after next. For Helm, however, one thing is certain: "Without such a law, it won’t work."

At least from the side of the SPD – parliamentary group leader Raed Saleh and the parliamentary manager Torsten Schneider took part in the conversation – there is still no statement on this. Nevertheless, they are said to have emphasized that socialization is an original social democratic concern and that they want to continue talks.

The House of Representatives still has two months to deal with the concern of the petition for a referendum and to make it superfluous through its own motion. The result would be the same as a successful decision: the Senate would be called upon to act and take steps to make the socialization of the holdings of the major real estate companies a reality.

Seize the opportunity now

"If all the parliamentary groups say this is important to us, we have to seize the opportunity," said Green Party faction leader Antje Kapek in an interview with the taz. With the "progressive coalition" in office until September and a responsible urban development senator from the left, Sebastian Scheel, whose party is fully behind the expropriation petition, there would currently be "the best conditions." In this case, the initiative would have "a guarantee of success and would save resources," according to Kapek.

The activists themselves were much more reserved after the meeting. Spokesman Kalle Kunkel praised the discussion, which was open to all members of the initiative. This represents a "new quality in transparency in dealing with political processes," he said. Nevertheless, he said, "In substance, it remains unclear to us what the constructive position of the parties should be." Kunkel referred to the SPD’s party congress resolution against expropriation. Next Tuesday, the initiative will discuss its position, nevertheless, preparations for a campaign and the collection of signatures continue, Kunkel said.

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