Traffic light negotiations: Working groups leave questions unanswered for the top round

BAccording to information from the German Press Agency, there are still important unanswered questions in the negotiations on a traffic light coalition. There has been progress in areas such as climate, finance, transport, and foreign and defense policy, but the papers of the working groups have brackets – this means that there is still no agreement on the points. This is now to be resolved in top rounds of the core negotiation teams of the SPD, Greens and FDP.

At the SPD, this team consists of Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, party chairmen Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, parliamentary group chairman Rolf Mützenich, general secretary Lars Klingbeil and the prime ministers of Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Malu Dreyer and Manuela Schwesig. At the Greens, party chairmen Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock and managing director Michael Kellner add four further representatives from the working groups, depending on the topic.

The FDP is going into the final round of negotiations with a quartet of party leader Christian Lindner, General Secretary Volker Wissing, Marco Buschmann and Bettina Stark-Watzinger.

The traffic light parties want to conclude the negotiations by the end of November. In the St. Nicholas week from December 6th, the previous Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) will be elected Chancellor by the Bundestag and his cabinet will be sworn in.

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All developments in the live ticker:

4:02 pm – Klingbeil believes in a “very good draft” for the coalition agreement

The general secretary and designated party chairman of the SPD, Lars Klingbeil, told the “Rheinische Post” that in the coming week they will “look at a very good draft for the coalition agreement, which should be ready in a timely manner”. Now the home stretch begins, “where everyone makes their point of view again,” he added. “It’s totally normal for something to get stuck – and still: it will work in the end.”

2:45 p.m. – Greenpeace loads rubble in front of the SPD party headquarters

At the start of the last phase of coalition negotiations, environmental protection organizations urged the SPD, Greens and FDP to agree on ambitious climate protection plans. Activists from Greenpeace unloaded rubble from the flooded areas in West Germany in front of the SPD headquarters on Wednesday.

They demanded on a banner: “Scholz, tackle this: Climate protection now!” SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz had advertised with the slogan “Scholz tackles this” and presented himself as “Climate Chancellor”.

11:45 am – Is Helge Braun considering a candidacy?

The search for a new CDU chairman is gaining momentum. While the possible applicants are delaying their candidacies, the Hessian CDU now wants to interfere in the matter.

According to information from the magazine “Spiegel”, the regional executive committee of the Christian Democrats in Wiesbaden has called a special meeting for next Friday. According to information from “Bild”, the keyword “Federal Presidency” is on the agenda. The meeting should only be about the upcoming election of the party leadership.

In addition, two texts in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” suggest that Braun has national political ambitions, continues “Bild”. Among other things, Chancellery Minister Braun gave an interview in which he hopes for “an exciting member survey” and “a field of candidates with real alternatives”.

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It is still open whether the state party will take a formal decision on whom it will support in the fight for the presidency. The two members of the Bundestag Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen have so far been considered the most likely applicants in the CDU. According to information from the news magazine, members of the state executive in Hesse are counting on another candidate who has not yet been named: Chancellor Helge Braun.

Braun, who comes from Hesse and is traded as the successor to Prime Minister Volker Bouffier, has not yet commented on the question of whether he is toying with the idea of ​​running for office. In internal discussions, however, he should not have ruled out his own application, according to party circles. Most recently, he accused Finance Minister Olaf Scholz of irresponsibility in corona policy and called for “a reconciliation of leadership and grassroots” in the CDU reorganization. Braun is considered a close confidante of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

09:16 am – FDP chief negotiator is optimistic about the traffic light negotiations

The FDP chief negotiator Marco Buschmann has expressed himself optimistically that the traffic light parties will be able to elect Olaf Scholz as chancellor during St. Nicholas Week. “We have drawn up a plan to reach him,” he said on Deutschlandfunk. After all that he knew, he could say “that everything speaks for the fact that we can reach him”. On Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., the 22 working groups from the SPD, Greens and FDP are supposed to present the party leaderships their negotiation results for the formation of a traffic light coalition at the federal level.

4:30 a.m. – Poll: Majority does not believe in the new government in St.

The majority of people in Germany do not believe that the SPD, Greens and FDP can keep their schedule for the traffic light coalition negotiations. According to a survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency, only 23 percent expect Olaf Scholz (SPD) to be elected Chancellor as planned in the week of St. Nicholas on December 6th. 50 percent assume that the negotiations will be extended. Another 10 percent even believe that they fail.

In the last few days the Greens have expressed doubts that the schedule can be kept. Among the supporters of the three traffic light parties, however, the Greens are still the most optimistic, according to the YouGov survey. Of the FDP voters, only 24 percent believe that the negotiators will be ready on time. Among the supporters of the SPD it is 31 percent and among those of the Greens 32 percent.

02:00 am – Klingbeil wants to keep Scholz’s back free

The designated SPD leader Lars Klingbeil wants to keep his back free for a chancellor Olaf Scholz. “One of the mistakes after the 1998 election victory was that a party leader Oskar Lafontaine concentrated on making life difficult for a Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. We will not repeat this mistake, “said Klingbeil of the” Rheinische Post “on Wednesday. In the past, as Secretary General, he had not always agreed with the candidate for Chancellor Scholz. However, this has always been clarified internally. “The times in which conflicts were carried out in public are over. I will do everything to ensure that it stays the same. “

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From left: Robert Habeck (Greens), Olaf Scholz (SPD), Christian Lindner (FDP)

Klingbeil is confident about the schedule, which was recently questioned by the Greens: “I am not aware that anything has changed about that. Olaf Scholz is to be elected as the next chancellor in the week after Nikolaus. We’ll discuss whether that happens on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. “

Klingbeil left it open who the designated co-boss Saskia Esken and he would like to be General Secretary in the future. When asked whether he would ask ex-Juso boss Kevin Kühnert to take over the job, Klingbeil replied evasively: “We are on friendly terms. On the matter we sometimes take a completely different view – nevertheless we both want to shape the same political style in the party. “

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