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Berlin gets the GroKo - Jarasch the opposition

After four hours of heated discussions in the SPD state executive, it was clear on Wednesday evening at around 8:30 p.

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Berlin gets the GroKo - Jarasch the opposition

After four hours of heated discussions in the SPD state executive, it was clear on Wednesday evening at around 8:30 p.m.: Berlin should again be governed by a grand coalition in the future. After two weeks of exploratory talks with the CDU and the previous government partners, the Greens and Left Party, the SPD state executive, on the recommendation of its chairmen Franziska Giffey and Raed Saleh, voted 25 to 12 in favor of coalition negotiations with the CDU on Wednesday evening.

Giffey thus foregoes the option of remaining governing mayor in a continuation of the red-green-red alliance. Her designated successor is CDU state leader Kai Wegner, who with his party clearly won the repeat election on February 12 with 28.2 percent. The CDU does not want to decide whether to join the coalition until tomorrow in the state executive board, but the approval is considered certain.

The report of the exploratory commission to the SPD state board, which is available to WELT, contains a clear rejection of a new edition of the red-green-red alliance. "The result of the soundings with the Greens and the Left is based on the joint assessment that Red-Green-Red in Berlin is currently not a joint, permanent and resilient project that will last with sufficient certainty until 2026," it says. The low and further falling approval ratings for the work of the coalition, which has existed since 2016, suggested “that it will be difficult for the Berlin SPD in this constellation to convey a real new beginning, which would be a prerequisite for a trend reversal with a view to approval ratings.”

Accordingly, the prospects for the 2026 elections against the background of a weakened SPD "can hardly be presented positively in a crisis-ridden alliance". Above all, the position of the Greens is criticized in the paper. Under the keyword "Strongly overriding self-interests of the Greens", it says that in almost all political sub-areas they had "raised serious doubts about the seriousness of their ability to negotiate".

The consultations with the CDU, on the other hand, "led to the conviction that the essential political positions of the SPD are reflected in the compromise process". As a result, large overlaps could have been identified in all areas. "Increasing the power to shape a two-party alliance with less friction losses in the coalition's internal votes suggests that better implementation of one's own projects and improved profile building in a coalition with the CDU is possible with a view to the elections in 2026."

In an alliance with the CDU, the SPD has the opportunity to be perceived as a "balancing and connecting social force in the city." And further: "We are the Berlin party that is finding its way back to its old strength." The exploratory commission recommends it The state board therefore decided to start coalition negotiations with the CDU. In addition, it is recommended that the decision on the coalition agreement be made "in a member vote by the broad base of the party".

In the days leading up to the decision, it had already become clear that Giffey had gradually distanced himself from the idea of ​​simply continuing the red-green-red alliance regardless of the outcome of the election. After the election evening, the three parties that were still in government said there shouldn't be a simple business as usual. The first exploratory round was then primarily characterized by thoughtfulness. "It is clear to everyone that changes are needed, in terms of content, but also in the way we deal with each other," Giffey said afterwards.

In a remarkably candid interview with "Zeit Online" she revealed how much the poor election result had hit her. The evening of the election was “one of the bitterest days of my career” for her. At the moment she is experiencing "hatred and agitation from certain camps that I didn't know before," she said. "Only because I dare, as the runner-up in the current legislature, to continue talking and working with my previous coalition partners until a new Senate is sworn in." This cultivates "contempt for people who have decided to do politics ' Giffey said, adding, 'I'm not attached to my post. Really not.”

The fact that Giffey is now actually giving up the office of Governing Mayor, although she could have continued to govern with the Greens and Left Party, surprised her current government partners. “The talks for an eco-social future for Berlin were on the right track. There were no irreconcilable differences," said Greens' top candidate Bettina Jarasch on Wednesday. "Now Franziska Giffey has spoken out against the continuation of a progressive policy for Berlin."

The Left Party also reacted coldly. “A socio-ecological policy will not fail on the Berlin left. If the SPD actually enters into a coalition with the backward-looking CDU, the city is threatened with a social and societal rollback," said head of state Katina Schubert.

There was initially no comment from the CDU. The state board wants to discuss the results of the soundings on Thursday afternoon. However, as the "Berliner Morgenpost" reported, it is considered certain that the CDU will also speak out in favor of coalition negotiations with the SPD tomorrow. After the last meeting of the CDU and SPD last Friday, CDU leader Kai Wegner had already tweeted: "Once again we have found many things in common."

Curious: In order to deal with the referendum on the expropriation of large housing companies, the exploratory paper talks about the creation of a “socialization framework law” if the expert commission comes to the conclusion that socialization is possible. Actually, the SPD and the CDU were equally opposed to expropriations. The continuation of the 29-euro ticket was also agreed.

Within the SPD, the grand coalition remains controversial. The Berlin Jusos have already announced fierce resistance. "We find the idea of ​​helping those who refuse to progress from the CDU to the mayor's office here in Berlin grotesque," said the SPD youth organization. "We will oppose any attempt to form a coalition with the CDU," said Berlin co-chairman Sinem Tasan-Funke. “Experience at the federal level shows that a coalition with the CDU, especially under the leadership of the CDU, means standstill at best and reverse gear at worst. Berlin cannot afford that.”

Criticism of the planned merger with the Union can also be heard from some district associations. Former State Secretary Sawsan Chebli also expressed doubts: “I wonder how there is a common denominator between the SPD

In the SPD state executive, however, the coalition option with the CDU ultimately found approval among members who are otherwise actually dedicated supporters of left-wing alliances. "As a long-time left-wing socialist, I unfortunately have to say that an alliance with the party 'Die Linke' is currently not possible for me," says Lichtenberg city councilor Kevin Hönicke, who sits as an assessor on the SPD board. "We need a fresh start. However, the negotiations show that an alliance of losers is not possible," he told WELT. This is how it is perceived by the general public.

No decision has yet been made on personal details in the negotiations. According to reports, Giffey is being discussed as a kind of "super senator" with extensive responsibilities. However, the exploratory report does not contain any personal details.

Overall, the Social Democrats’ staffing is thin, especially since the city development and former interior senator Andreas Geisel has been considered difficult to place since the chaos election for which he was responsible in September 2021. A thesis paper by former SPD MP Andreas Köhler, who most recently worked as a lawyer for Giffey, caused additional excitement. As the “Spiegel” reported, Köhler accused the capital SPD of being “intellectually burned out”. The voters were "fed up with SPD promises". "It was enough for everyone."

"Kick-off Politics" is WELT's daily news podcast. The most important topic analyzed by WELT editors and the dates of the day. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, among others, or directly via RSS feed.

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