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People in Germany "expect not to constantly argue," says Baerbock

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has demanded compromises from the traffic light coalition in the face of new allegations by the FDP regarding the financial policies of the SPD and the Greens.

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People in Germany "expect not to constantly argue," says Baerbock

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has demanded compromises from the traffic light coalition in the face of new allegations by the FDP regarding the financial policies of the SPD and the Greens. The people in Germany "expect that you don't constantly argue, but that you solve the problems together," said the Green politician on Thursday during a visit to North Macedonia in response to a journalist's question. FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai had previously accused the SPD and Greens of not having a common understanding of the realities of financial policy in the traffic light coalition.

Since she is intensively campaigning in the Republic of North Macedonia not only to look at quick headlines, "but to have the big goal in mind, what can be achieved, especially if you are willing to compromise, you should set a good example," said baerbock. For this reason, she "does not want to deliver a quick headline for the next report". With a view to the deliberations of the traffic light coalition planned for this Sunday, she rather wants to make it clear that the federal government, aware of its responsibility, will come together to form the coalition committee.

For weeks there have been heated discussions in the coalition, for example about motorway expansion, climate protection in the transport sector, heating replacement and the upcoming budget for 2024. Whether there will be agreements on Sunday is open.

FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai had previously criticized the budget course of the coalition partners SPD and Greens. "We do not have a common basic understanding in the federal government as far as the financial reality is concerned," Djir-Sarai told the German Press Agency on Thursday. Sound financial policy is the most appropriate and best way to combat inflation.

With too much new debt, the government is weakening its own ability to act, said Djir-Sarai. "It is clear that some see the FDP and especially Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner as a spoilsport." As department head, however, he has a responsibility for the budget course. "Politicians obviously have to learn that the state has to make do with the resources it has available."

Germany does not have an income problem, but an expenditure problem, said Djir-Saai. Large parts of politics have forgotten that it must first be generated before it can be distributed. He rejected the abolition of the commuter allowance, as demanded by the Greens. It serves as tax compensation for the costs incurred by the commute to work, whether by bike, car, bus or train.

The demands of the FDP for budgetary discipline are nothing unusual, "but only the demand for compliance with the coalition agreement," said Djir-Sarai. In it, tax increases and additional structural burdens for citizens and the economy have been ruled out.

Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had previously emphasized the need to struggle for solutions. Of course, it must be possible for different political positions to be articulated within a government, said the FDP politician on Wednesday evening in the ZDF “heute-journal” with a view to the dispute over the plans to replace the heating system. "We need to struggle for the best solution and not to subordinate better ideas."

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had recently expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the coalition. For weeks there has been a dispute between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, for example over the expansion of the motorway, climate protection in the transport sector, the replacement of the heating system or the upcoming budget for 2024. A coalition committee is scheduled for Sunday.

On Tuesday, Habeck had criticized in the ARD “Tagesthemen”, among other things, that the draft for the ban on oil and gas heating from 2024 had been pushed through to the press at an early stage. "Here the draft law to the 'Bild' newspaper - and I must therefore assume - was deliberately leaked in order to damage trust in the government." “.

When asked what one should think of a government described in this way, Wissing replied: "Well, I don't think much of such things, and I don't take part in them either. Times are serious, we have to govern seriously.” There is an enormous amount of catching up to do in Germany.

In the heating dispute, Wissing emphasized that it was crucial to get people involved in climate protection. "A government must take the concerns of the people very seriously," he said. "Building, housing, heating must also remain affordable, and we have to discuss these things in the government." Once a draft law has been agreed, "then we also stand behind it".

Specifically, it is about a draft law that provides for stricter rules for the installation of new heating systems from 2024. From 2024, if possible, every newly installed heating system should be operated with 65 percent renewable energy. This could amount to a de facto ban on new oil and gas heating systems. Above all, the FDP criticizes the draft sharply, also because details for the transition and operating periods have not yet been determined.

At the start of the Greens parliamentary group retreat on Tuesday, Habeck also said that it could not be "that in a progress coalition only one coalition partner is responsible for progress and the others for preventing progress".

The General Secretaries of the SPD and FDP rejected the Vice Chancellor's criticism on Wednesday. "Mr. Habeck's perception that the Greens are responsible for progress in the traffic light coalition and that the other parties would prevent this does not correspond to reality," Djir-Sarai told the "Spiegel". SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert confirmed that Habeck was currently under pressure. "But I think you shouldn't deal with the pressure in such a way that you just grab in all directions because of it," he told the ARD capital studio.

The deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Detlef Müller called on the traffic light parties to compromise. “When it comes to climate protection in transport and the heat transition, we are faced with enormously challenging tasks. In order to successfully deal with this, we as a coalition must pull together," he told the "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland" ("RND"). He assured: "We are all trying to find a balanced compromise, certainly also in the coalition committee on Sunday."

"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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