It will soon be clear whether there will be a continuation of green-black or a traffic light coalition in Baden-Württemberg. After the third round of talks, the SPD and FDP see coalition opportunities.
The Greens will probably decide before Easter with whom they will start coalition negotiations. That is “pretty safe,” said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) on Saturday. The 72-year-old head of government left it open whether the current coalition partner, the CDU, or a traffic light coalition with the SPD and FDP had better chances. Kretschmann announced that the green negotiating group would meet next Wednesday and evaluate the talks. Then the team in the state board has to give a recommendation and then a decision is made there.
On Saturday morning, the Greens first met with the SPD and FDP for exploratory talks – for the first time in this three-way constellation. Previously there were only one-to-one conversations. In the afternoon and into the evening there were long talks with the CDU.
Optimism after the first three-way meeting between the Greens, SPD and FDP
After the three-hour meeting with the Greens, Social Democrats and Liberals were optimistic that a joint coalition with the Greens could work. A traffic light coalition, according to SPD regional chief Andreas Stoch, offers the chance to bring together the brand core of the Greens, FDP and SPD: namely ecology, economy and the social dimension – all of these together are sustainable. There are similarities on many topics. Intensive discussions have been held on a common idea for such a coalition, which has to send a “signal of departure”.
FDP parliamentary group leader Hans-Ulrich Rülke used similar words. Nowhere were there irreconcilable differences, they agreed on all issues or showed a willingness to compromise. You see yourself on the home straight and must now act together in the pandemic. FDP state chief Michael Theurer said of a possible traffic light coalition: “It won’t be easy, but we would dare.”
“Pleasant” and “constructive” talks between the FDP and the Greens had already taken place on Wednesday. You can find out more about this in the video:
The SPD agreed that the Greens want to make their decision next week. “We are ready,” said SPD party leader Stoch. The FDP leadership sees no rush in the explorations. “We have no time pressure,” said the theurer. Both Theurer and Rülke said, however, that they could make a proposal to the state executive and parliamentary group at the beginning of the week if the Greens made a decision.
CDU does not comment on conversations
In the afternoon, the Greens met again with the CDU to sound out the opportunities for a new edition of their existing coalition. The CDU negotiating team around the country chief and interior minister Thomas Strobl stuck to its strategy of not commenting on the talks.
Kretschmann had asked the CDU, SPD and FDP to remain silent about the content of the meeting. However, the Greens, SPD and FDP gave at least a hint of information about their view of things. In the evening Kretschmann and Strobl came out of the door of the house of architects together, but the CDU politician declared: “We are not allowed to say anything.” Then Kretschmann, who turned to the journalists: “A little bit.” Strobl responded with: “You do that” and left the place of negotiation.
The social wing of the CDU warned the Greens against including the FDP in the government. “In recent years, the FDP in Baden-Württemberg has repeatedly positioned itself as an AfD light: Against refugees, against climate protection and the lockdown,” said Christian Bäumler, head of the Christian Democratic Workforce. He warned that the FDP would have a “veto right against all corona measures” in a government. That would be “fatal”. The liberals have long been calling for the month-long lockdown to be lifted and for trade to be opened up across the board.
The Greens won the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2021. You can either opt for a new edition of the previous green-black coalition or form a traffic light coalition with the SPD and FDP.