Can Merkel Surprise Everyone?
Members of CDU, CSU and Green Party call negotiations “very positive and constructive”
By Nick Sauter
Berlin – After their first round of negotiations, Angela Merkel’s CDU and the Green Party are suddenly more likely to form a new coalition government together than ever before. After the meeting on Thursday night, members of both delegations said they had “many things in common”, but will have to continue their talks on Tuesday of next week. If the CDU/CSU and the Green Party were to form a government, it would be the first of its kind on Germany’s federal level.
After three hours of negotiations, Claudia Roth, the leader of the Green Party, said the talks had been “very positive and constructive”. Both parties seem to have found common ground on issues such as Energy Policy and their attitude towards the European Union, but have different opinions on the current discussions about refugees in Italy. However, CSU’s Secretary General, Alexander Dobrindt, pointed out that the group had run out of time before all topics could be discussed.
Delegations of all three parties will meet up again next Tuesday for further negotiations. Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer from the CSU said that from his point of view there could be enough common ground to build a coalition government for the next four years of legislation.
However, some critics think that Seehofer and Dobrindt have only made such statements in order to put more pressure on the SPD only days before their next meeting to talk about a Grand Coalition on Monday.
Since the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, there has never been a coalition between the conservative parties and the Green Party on the federal level. In 2005, a first informal meeting was abruptly brought to an end after only 90 minutes, since members of both delegations had found that there wasn’t enough common ground to form a government.
This seems to have changed drastically on Thursday night, when leading politicians of all three parties came together in Berlin. Since the majority of the German people have spoken out in favour of a Grand Coalition, a government consisting of the CDU/CSU and the Green Party would be more than a surprise.
However, leading politicians of both sides, including Bavaria’s former Prime Minister, Günther Beckstein from the CSU, and Baden Württemberg’s current Prime Minister, Winfried Kretschmann from the Green Party, have recently announced their support for such an “experiment”.
Experts say a coalition between “Black and Green” could also have the support of the majority of Germans but is still widely considered more of an adventure, while most Germans seek political security and stability in times of crises such as the Euro crisis and the tragedy of Lampedusa.
Angela Merkel up to now has not been known for being very fond of adventures. However, if she was to form a Conservative-Green government, Merkel is very likely to surprise not only the German people, but the whole of Europe.