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Laschet says a leftist German gov't would cause economic crisis

04:55 23 September 2021 Author :  

Armin Laschet, the German conservative chancellor candidate, on Wednesday warned of a potential left-wing coalition government after the elections, claiming that it would be very bad for Germany and Europe.

“A red-red-green coalition would plunge us into an economic crisis,” Laschet said, referring to a potential coalition between the Social Democrats, the Greens, and the anti-capitalist Left Party.

Addressing a rally of his party in the northeastern state of Saarland, Laschet said his Social Democrat rival Olaf Scholz will try to form a left-wing coalition government, if his party, the Greens, and the Left Party receive enough votes in Sunday’s elections.

“That would weaken us in Europe, that would weaken us in terms of our relations with France. … That would weaken us in the world, also in terms of our economy, as well as domestic security,” he warned.

German voters will elect a new parliament on Sept. 26, and the result will determine who will succeed Angela Merkel as the chancellor, as she is not running for another term.

While Social Democrats’ candidate Olaf Scholz tops popularity ratings, conservative leader Laschet is still hopeful that his conservative CDU/CSU bloc will win the elections, and he will become the country’s next chancellor.

According to Forsa’s latest poll, Social Democrats maintain their lead with 25%, unchanged from last week, while the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) gained one point to reach 22%, only days before the election.

The poll put support for the environmentalist Greens at 17%, while the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) were both polled at 11%.

The socialist Left Party was polled at 6% in the same survey.


Possible coalition scenarios

Opinion polls show that none of the parties will get enough votes to govern alone, and the winning party’s chancellor candidate will likely face tough negotiations to form a coalition government.

Social Democrats’ candidate Scholz has already announced that they would prefer to form a government with the environmentalist Greens. But recent polls suggest that his party would need a third partner to secure a majority at the parliament, Bundestag.

The liberal FDP has not ruled out a coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens, but the parties have deep differences over a wide variety of issues, including minimum wage and tax increases on the wealthy.

Social Democrats and the Greens have the other option of forming a coalition with the socialist Left Party, but the latter holds extreme positions on the economy and foreign policy matters, raising questions about the stability of a government joined by these three parties.

Neither Scholz, nor the Greens' chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock so far ruled out this coalition option.


CDU/CSU’s coalition options

If Laschet's CDU/CSU alliance wins the elections, Christian Democrats will also need two coalition partners to secure a Bundestag majority.

Laschet views the liberal Free Democrats as a potential coalition partner, as the two parties share many common positions. But their opposition to ambitious climate goals of the Greens remains one of the thorniest issues for the leaders to form a three-way coalition government.

The continuation of the current “grand coalition” between the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats is also a possibility, but senior figures of both parties repeatedly said it is not their preferred option.

The SPD’s youth organization, and the party’s co-chair Saskia Esken publicly rejected a new coalition government with the CDU/CSU bloc, and the idea has been hugely unpopular among the party’s base.

Leading members of the CDU/CSU on the other hand are opposing an SPD-led “grand coalition” option, in which the Christian Democrats will be the junior partner./agencies

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