Scholz looks to quell coalition divisions
A little more than a year after taking office, the relationship between Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) and his governing partners, the Greens and the pro-business FDP, looks more strained than ever.
Earlier this week, Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck of the Greens accused the FDP of blocking progress, while the FDP’s deputy chief Wolfgang Kubicki compared the Green politician to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kubicki later apologised but the damaging row underlines the state of the three-way coalition — the first in Germany’s post-war history.
The alliance got off to a good start in December 2021 under the motto of their coalition agreement — “Dare for more progress”.
It was put to a tough test when Russia invaded Ukraine just two months on, upending decades of German economic and political certainties.
But tensions have since soared — particularly between the Greens and the FDP.
The two are unnatural bedfellows, with the former set on environmental commitments to phase out nuclear energy and combustion engines, and the latter promoting very different economic policies.
It could not be “that in a coalition of progress only one coalition partner is responsible for progress and the others for preventing progress”, Habeck said at a Green party event during the week.
– Boiling over –
Sunday’s talks would be a good opportunity to “overcome blockages” on key issues, Habeck also told broadcaster ARD, blasting the coalition’s record and policy leaks.
At the root of Habeck’s discontent is a controversial project put forward by his ministry to ban the installation of new oil and gas boilers from 2024 — a year earlier than previously planned.