The designated state chairmen of the Berlin SPD, Franziska Giffey and Raed Saleh, set themselves apart from the politics of the incumbent red-red-green Senate on key points. Among other things, they are calling for the previously separate areas of building and living with mobility and transport to be merged into one major urban development administration, the management of which the SPD intends to take over: “This is a key department for us.”
In domestic and economic policy, too, Giffey and Saleh keep their distance from the Greens and the left. In an interview with Tagesspiegel, the former district mayor of Neukölln, Giffey, announced an ideology-free policy for the middle of society: “We are developing a pragmatic, citizen-oriented program.”
[Exklusiv für T-Plus-Abonnenten: Ist Berlin das Neukölln Deutschlands? Was der Bezirk über Franziska Giffeys Führungsanspruch verrät]
With a view to the scene around Rigaer Strasse in Friedrichshain and the different attitudes towards it in the coalition, Giffey demands: “We have to speak a clear language with left-wing extremism and clearly show boundaries. Anyone who marauds through the city, smears everything, smashes windows, sets fire to cars, injures people, cannot justify this by campaigning for fair rents or affordable housing. ”
Giffey and Saleh want to coined a “social democratic security concept”: “We create security for those who cannot buy it.”
Giffey and Saleh, who are standing for election together at a state party congress on October 31, are making a clear commitment to free economic development against the background of disputes in the coalition: “Our signal, our message to the economy is: You we are very welcome, ”says Saleh, who has been the SPD parliamentary group leader in the Berlin House of Representatives since 2011.
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Commitment to the car
Giffey is specifically committed to the controversial Karstadt plans on Hermannplatz: “The new building based on the historical model would be simply great for the city. But our overall aim is to promote a development in which the economy is not viewed as an opponent, but as a partner. “
Especially when it comes to transport and social issues, Giffey and Saleh are relying on clear changes in the politics that have so far been shaped by the left and the Greens. In transport policy, this becomes clear in the commitment to cars and the expansion of the subway.
[Mehr aus der Hauptstadt. Mehr aus der Region. Mehr zu Politik und Gesellschaft. Und mehr Nützliches für Sie. Das gibt’s jetzt mit Tagesspiegel Plus. Jetzt 30 Tage kostenlos testen]
Giffey believes that it is necessary for Berlin as a metropolitan region not only to grow in height, but “also in breadth”. She sees parallels to the development of Berlin 100 years ago, when the city also grew strongly and planned underground connections “in the open”: “And we have to do exactly the same today.” This would also relieve the housing market in the inner city districts says Giffey.
Saleh also demands that Berlin must now “build, build, build”. Neither of them want to extend the rent cap after five years, instead a rent index should apply again.
In Giffey’s view, Berlin should “continue to be a free city for the most varied of people’s lifestyles”, but she also says: “Not everything that the Green District Mayor of Friedrichshain defends as an alternative housing project is conducive to a respectful and good coexistence.”
Giffey wants Berlin to become number one in digital schools
On the question of administrative reform to resolve unclear responsibilities, Giffey rejects centralization, while Saleh is critical of the district mayors’ right of veto. Both rely on more staff, which they want to gain through better pay and equipment in their workplaces: “If you look at what the job centers, the citizens’ offices and the police stations in Berlin sometimes look like, nobody says: Wow, it’s cool to work here”, says Giffey. A change in mentality is also necessary.
[Das ganze Interview finden Sie im Tagesspiegel vom Montag, der bereits als E-Paper hier abrufbar ist.]
In educational policy, Giffey sets the goal of Berlin becoming “number one in digital schools – both in terms of equipment and media skills”. Apart from that, Berlin’s education policy can be “quite impressive” in a national comparison, she says.
When Giffey will declare her candidacy as mayor, she leaves it open. Regarding the question of an early assumption of office, she says: “I am happy to be the Federal Minister for Family Affairs and I have a lot more plans in this office.”