August 3, 2021

German Greens close ranks behind their candidate for chancellery

A candidate for the chancellery weakened by her own blunders, a disappointing result in the regional elections of June 6 in the Land of Saxony-Anhalt, voting intentions in sharp decline nationwide … Three and a half months before the legislative elections of 26 September, all the ingredients were in place for the German Green Congress, organized in Berlin from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 June, to give rise to heated debates and put the party leadership on the defensive.

It has not happened. Saturday afternoon, it was almost unanimously – 678 delegates out of 688, or 98.5% of the vote – that Annalena Baerbock was invested as a candidate for the chancellery and that the tandem she formed with Robert Habeck to the head of the Greens since 2018 has been renewed. In a political family deemed rebellious, such a score is unprecedented.

Read also The lessons of the German Greens, a stark contrast to the French environmentalists

Basically, the two environmental leaders also succeeded in countering the offensive of the left wing, which wanted to take advantage of the Congress to strengthen the program that will be defended in the legislative elections. Contrary to what some claimed, the large real estate groups will not be threatened with expropriation, the end of the production of gasoline cars will not be scheduled for 2025 but for 2030, the marginal rate of the upper bracket of the tax on the income will not increase to 53% but to 48% (against 45% currently), and the minimum wage will not be raised to 13 euros but to 12 euros per hour (against 9.50 euros today).

On military questions, very sensitive in a party whose pacifism is one of the identity markers, Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck also won their case against those who proposed to halve the defense budget over the next fifteen years. They also obtained – with close to four votes – that the use of armed drones by the German army is no longer rejected in principle.

Controversies around Annalena Baerbock

By relaxing their traditional position on armed drones, the German Greens are sending a double signal. On the domestic political scene, they are removing one of the obstacles that could hinder the formation of a coalition with the conservatives (CDU-CSU) after the legislative elections of September 26. To Germany’s European partners, starting with France, they intend to indicate that their arrival in power would not call into question major projects, such as the air combat system of the future, the object of strong friction between Paris and Berlin during in recent years.

You have 56.03% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.