Potential kingmakers: where the Greens and the FDP are close – and where not |


Even Jürgen Trittin is suddenly very nice. Indeed, the leader of the left wing of the Greens never misses an opportunity to give the FDP a big boost. On September 23, he declared that the Liberals’ tax plans were completely unrealistic. Monday, however, sounded very different. Trittin only spoke of “one or the other contradiction” in the programs of the FDP and the Greens, who would otherwise have a “good starting position” after the elections.

There are actually one or two contradictions – especially in fiscal and social policy. The FDP not only does not want to raise taxes, but rather lower them, while the Greens are campaigning for an increase in the maximum rate of income tax and a wealth tax. No wonder Greens boss Robert Habeck said on Monday: “This is where worlds collide.”

FDP boss Christian Lindner is already sending signals of compromise. The tax reduction can be spread over years and, as a first step, business investments in climate protection can be tax subsidized. This should help on the third point of yellow-green conflict: the differences in climate protection, where the FDP is heavily geared towards creating a CO2 budget – then companies with technical innovation work to reduce carbon emissions. carbon dioxide. At one point, however, the FDP is ironic. The debt brake must remain. The Greens, meanwhile, want to change them so that more investment in climate protection is possible – a concern that CDU boss Armin Laschet and SPD finance minister Olaf Scholz do not share.

Even if Lindner is clearly trying to make the greens take off: it remains delicate between yellow and green. Speed ​​limit ? Quite simply not, thinks the FDP – as does the Union. Of course, definitely, answer the Greens. The same is true with Hartz IV. Greens have a 50-euro monthly increase in the program, while liberals complain that Hartz IV recipients, who earn something extra, can only keep 100 euros from their pay – and they should give more of 80 cents of each euro to the state.

The legal minimum wage will put a lot of effort into the yellow-green talks. This should quickly rise to 12 euros, say the Greens and agree with the SPD. From the point of view of the Liberals (and also of the Union), it is not the State, but rather the collective bargaining partners in the Minimum Wage Commission who should decide the amount. It aims for a salary of at least 10.45 euros for July 2022. Sooner or later, the minimum wage will rise to 12 euros. Only the Greens and the Social Democrats have their say with the citizens that this value will come soon.

On the other hand, yellow-green would quickly agree on national and legal policy and digitization. An agreement is also possible on the question of whether Germany – as NATO has promised – will devote 2% of its economic output to defense. It could also work on a topic that young people are passionate about. The two parties wish to promote an old-age provision complementary to the statutory pension fund and to ensure that employees benefit from the profits of companies in terms of old-age insurance.

Nevertheless: before the yellows and greens can become a “progressive center” (Lindner) in a future coalition, there is still a long way to go. And where does it lead – to the government of Jamaica or the traffic light government? The green base would probably prefer the traffic light. CSU boss Markus Söder admitted on Monday how ambitious Jamaica is. He spoke of a “balancing act” for everyone involved. But everyone should step out of the “comfort zone”.

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