He is tired but in a good mood. SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans worked all night Traffic light paper negotiated.
Tax increases for the rich are off the table. He thinks it’s a shame when we meet him for an interview on Friday. Nevertheless, he thinks the traffic light is good.
BILD am Sonntag: Mr. Walter-Borjans, what is your heading for the traffic light?
Norbert Walter-Borjans: “Departure for Germany – Security in Transition.”
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You had to make the greatest concessions to the smallest partner, the FDP. Because without Lindner there would be no traffic light. Does the FDP boss have you in hand?
Walter-Borjans: “The great achievement of the explorers was that each and every one of them thought for the others and it was clear to everyone: It was about the future of the whole country. Christian Lindner has to be able to explain to his people why he goes along with the traffic lights. But we also have to. And the Greens as well. “
For the FDP, the way to the traffic lights was certainly the longest.
Walter-Borjans: “Everyone at the negotiating table recognized that.”
You have accused Lindner of “voodoo economics”. You have now promised him not to increase taxes and still comply with the debt brake. Is the former NRW finance minister Walter-Borjans now also a voodoo economist?
Walter-Borjans: “The election campaign is about the differences. Now it’s a matter of compromise. The SPD doesn’t have an absolute majority. But we have also achieved important goals: minimum wage, stable pension level, retention of the solos. Everyone gave something – and together they achieved a lot. “
They want to spend billions on climate protection, and put another ten billion into retirement. But don’t say where the money should come from.
Walter-Borjans: “We will fight tax fraud and money laundering even more, close tax loopholes, use the credit institution for reconstruction, but also use the opportunities that the debt brake allows us.”
The traffic light paper says: We will intensify the fight against tax evasion, money laundering and tax avoidance. So hasn’t Finance Minister Scholz done enough about it?
Walter-Borjans: “On the contrary: He pushed and achieved a lot. Despite everything, Germany is still a money laundering paradise. The authorities do not even comply with processing the suspicious transaction reports from the banks. The state still has a lot to gain in the fight against money laundering and tax evasion. But for that he has to become even more powerful. “
How much is it?
Walter-Borjans: “I think it is absolutely realistic that fighting fraud and closing loopholes can lead to annual revenues in the tens of billions.”
Your tax plans from the election campaign have been called off. No increase in the top tax rate, no wealth tax – does the traffic light protect the rich?
Walter-Borjans: “We are convinced that tax relief for the vast majority is only possible if the top earners contribute more in return. Indeed, that could not be done with the FDP. But negotiating at eye level means that you don’t get through all of your own goals. But with minimum wages, basic child benefits and more subsidized housing, we have been able to reach agreements that are very valuable to low and normal earners. “
The Germans groan about rising energy prices. They want to abolish the EEG surcharge for electricity “as quickly as possible”. As early as next year or on St. Never’s Day?
Walter-Borjans: “That means within this electoral period, so by 2025 at the latest. That brings an average household around 300 euros a year.”
Should the SPD members vote on the coalition agreement or is a party conference enough?
Walter-Borjans: “The SPD, Greens and FDP have already proven that they can achieve something great. In the SPD there is no “no traffic light” mood as there is against the GroKo. As chairmen elected by the members, Saskia Esken and I have a special responsibility. We have put an end to the fact that the members are only addressees of the decisions in Berlin. There needs to be adequate membership participation, for example online. In view of the overwhelming approval in the SPD, however, the time and costs of a classic member survey would hardly be justifiable. “
The first person to be decided by the SPD is to succeed Wolfgang Schäuble as President of the Bundestag. Can you even get past a woman?
Walter-Borjans: “Firstly: the largest parliamentary group traditionally provides the President of the Bundestag, and this time it is us. There is no reason to change anything. Second: There are a number of suitable women and men in the SPD parliamentary group, starting with our parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. “
Then with Mützenich, Scholz and Federal President Steinmeier, three SPD men would be at the top of the state.
Walter-Borjans: “All three are outstanding personalities, the three offices are not related to each other. We will handle it responsibly. “