A shift in power within the Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany has made the party’s coalition with the CDU (Angela Merkel’s party) even shakier. The two new SPD leaders are pulling the party towards the hard left, which will force Mrs. Merkel to tack even further in that direction to meet their demands, or risk breaking up the coalition with the SPD if she tries to hold on to what remains of her power base.
Many thanks to MissPiggy for translating the video report below, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.
MissPiggy has also translated the notes accompanying the original video:
There will probably have to be new elections: New SPD leaders want to renegotiate many topics in the coalition contract
After being elected by the SPD base, Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans are the new party leaders, and the future of the grand coalition with the CDU is uncertain. This past Saturday evening both said that the SPD party conference next weekend should decide whether or not to continue the coalition with the CDU/CSU. CDU and CSU politicians called on the new top team to abide by the agreements. The Left party and the Greens offered Esken and Walter-Borjans cooperation.
|00:00||Their victory has caused a minor political earthquake in Berlin.|
|00:04||The freshly-elected SPD leaders Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter Borjans|
|00:07||reaffirmed that they will only continue the grand coalition if numerous topics are renegotiated.|
|00:11||Aims which have met with little approval from their partner, the CDU.|
|00:17||We stand by this coalition on the basis upon which it was negotiated,|
|00:21||and we want to dedicate ourselves quickly to that substantive work.|
|00:25||At the moment, there are many topics currently pending, and in the coming years|
|00:29||we have several plans within the coalition contract.|
|00:33||For the CDU, this is the operational foundation. —For the two designated SPD chairpersons,|
|00:37||this operational foundation is not sufficient.|
|00:40||In order for the grand coalition to continue, they have a whole catalogue of demands.|
|00:43||There’s a need for massive investments|
|00:46||to be made in public infrastructure. There’s also the question of whether|
|00:50||the climate package is sufficient for dealing with the climate crisis,|
|00:53||and there’s the social cohesion question. —We have to make sure|
|00:58||that this coalition takes a clear stand, and if a chancellor can’t handle it,|
|01:03||or other parties can’t handle that, then that puts the coalition at risk, for sure.|
|01:08||The new leadership demands more money for schools,|
|01:11||roads, and climate, as well as a €12 minimum wage.|
|01:14||The FDP warns the CDU against trying to save the government with such concessions.|
|01:19||Now is the time for the CDU to show leadership and strength,|
|01:23||and not let itself be blackmailed by its coalition partner|
|01:26||into taking a turn in a leftwards direction. Anything else|
|01:29||would be better than making gifts at the taxpayers’ expense.|
|01:33||Esken and Walter Borjans will be demanding exactly such investments,|
|01:36||because it is now up to both of them to prove themselves|
|01:39||on the great stage in Berlin with the task of reanimating German social democracy.|
|01:42||With or without governmental responsibility.