The marathon meeting of party and government leaders continues. The chancellor is still confident at an appointment.
The top politicians from the SPD, Greens and FDP have resumed their talks in the coalition committee. There they seek compromises on various issues. According to reports, the main focus is on more climate protection in the transport sector and faster construction of motorways.
In the early evening, Chancellor Olaf Scholz was confident that the talks would lead to a good result. “We’re making constant progress,” said Scholz after a meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto. The main issues have long since been resolved. There are still many details that should fit into a good overall work. This will have been worth the hard work.
“You will be a little surprised at what’s in there,” Scholz told press representatives. At the same time, he hinted that the public information about the talks was not entirely correct from his point of view: “The pot hitting didn’t always work.”
The heads of the traffic light coalition started their talks on a number of controversial issues on Sunday evening, but interrupted them in the early afternoon of Monday because Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and several ministers had to travel to the German-Dutch government consultations in Rotterdam. Until the early evening it was not possible to predict when the coalition leaders would come to an end. The CDU, CSU, AfD and Left viewed the interruption as a disgrace and a sign of poverty.
Union faction leader Friedrich Merz had previously attested to the traffic light coalition being unable to act. “We obviously have a government crisis in Germany,” said Merz on Tuesday before a meeting of CDU/CSU MPs in Berlin. The federal government can no longer agree on essential issues. “She has been constantly arguing in public for the past few days and weeks.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) “at times stood on the sidelines like an uninvolved person and acted as if he had nothing to do with the whole thing,” criticized Merz.
Merz questions the continued existence of the coalition
When asked what result he expected from the coalition committee’s negotiations, the opposition leader replied: “After so many hours of inconclusive consultations, you can basically hardly count on viable and resilient solutions.” He could “hardly imagine that there is still a sufficiently secure basis for the continued existence of this coalition”. Merz added: “We will probably hear formula compromises and we will see that the quarrels in this coalition will continue unchanged afterwards.”
After arriving in the Dutch city, Scholz said that “very, very good progress had been made”. The Chancellor called the consultations in Rotterdam “a nice interim period that we are now having here with our friends in the Netherlands”.
The heads of the alliance wanted to work through a long list of points of contention in the chancellor’s office. Climate protection in transport was indicated as the biggest topic of conflict – because the federal government has to reverse the trend here. According to the Federal Environment Agency, greenhouse gas emissions in this area have recently increased instead of decreasing as is actually necessary.
The Greens in particular are demanding more effort from Transport Minister Volker Wissing. Its FDP, however, strictly rejects a general speed limit on German autobahns and a reform of company car taxation.
The tone in the coalition had recently become rough on other issues as well:
Replacement of oil and gas heaters
The basic idea has actually long been agreed in the coalition: from 2024, if possible, only new heating systems that are operated with at least 65 percent renewable energy should be installed. In fact, this means the end of conventional oil and gas heating systems.