The Greens are rearranging themselves hours after the general election. Annalena Baerbock makes room – FDP boss Lindner made meaningful comments about “Mr. Habeck” at noon.
- The result of the federal election shows consequences: A power struggle is raging in the Union – meanwhile the Greens are already repositioning themselves.
- Robert Habeck is to become a coalition blacksmith and, if necessary, Vice Chancellor instead of Annalena Baerbock.
- Even an appearance by FDP leader Christian Lindner made a deep impression on Monday lunchtime.
Berlin – The federal elections and their results are quickly producing dazzling flowers: The Union is losing massively – but party leader Armin Laschet still wants to keep the power and even conquer the Chancellery. That could bring tormenting debates to the CDU chancellor candidate. The Greens, on the other hand, have grown significantly. And yet it appears to be quietly restructuring their hierarchy of power.
Instead of Annalena Baerbock, co-boss Robert Habeck should now take over the reins. The handover of the baton comes surprisingly quickly – but probably not too quickly. After all, the Greens and the Union have one thing in common: They want to sit in the next federal government. Habeck is now supposed to be in charge of the explorations that are already under way, including putting together the exploration team.
This was already indicated on Monday morning, hours before castling at the party leadership became known. FDP leader Christian Lindner, of all people, provided evidence of the shift in power – and was otherwise at least in line with Habeck, at least on the practical issues of the negotiations. The Liberal treated all questions relating to the explorations with the greatest caution.
Greens after the federal election: Habeck should become Vice Chancellor – and coalition architect?
The whole picture of the comparison between the Union and the Greens also includes: The Greens, with a plus of almost six percentage points, were nominally among the largest winners of the election together with the SPD. But after the past few months, the result was a low blow. After all, the eco party – just like Laschet’s CDU / CSU – had very specific dreams of the Chancellery in the summer. On the evening of the election, it was a good ten percentage points behind the election winners.
The disappointment now apparently has consequences. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung announced on Monday evening that Habeck and not Baerbock should become vice chancellor in the event of government participation. The paper cited “multiple sources”. The move should make it clear that the Greens “understood” the election result, they announced – Baerbock had their chance. According to the report, however, this is not a short-term decision. Habeck and Baerbock had already agreed a long time ago that in the event of a bad election result one would have to reorganize.
The background is not least of all resentment with Baerbock’s performance in the crucial phase of the election campaign. It was less about content or triell appearances. On TV, the Greens boss had even succeeded in some smaller survey surprises. The focus is on a multitude of annoying mistakes: fining in the résumé, an election campaign book that is apparently heavily riddled with plagiarism, unreported Christmas bonus payments.
Habeck now suddenly back at the front of the Greens – Lindner treats the wishes of “Mr. Habeck” with the greatest care
So now – or so it seems – Habeck should come to his own. At the beginning of the election campaign, the 52-year-old made room for Baerbock with obvious pain but without much grumbling. He worked unchecked for the Greens on the country’s marketplaces. However, Habeck now and then publicly showed displeasure.
The exploratory start, which has now been publicly confirmed by the FDP, could already bear his signature. As early as Sunday, Habeck said on TV that a joint project was needed instead of “150 pages of dissent” under one’s nose. At the same time, he wanted to avoid balcony appearances like in the Jamaica explorations in 2017 – and Habeck aggressively advocated speaking to the FDP first instead of waiting for an offer from the SPD or Union.
Anyone who listened closely at his press conference on Monday, Liberal boss Christian Lindner, could find these lines directly. And also discover references to Habeck’s new role. “I have not yet agreed with Mr. Habeck what we want to announce publicly about the nature of these discussions,” Lindner explained to the journalists at one point – after thinking for a few seconds. On another occasion, the FDP chairman said that he “cannot publicly provide information on details of the planned talks” – so as not to “endanger trust”.
Habeck and Lindner could therefore become the real architects of a new federal government. In any case, Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz only have one power option without the double pack of FDP and Greens: the hated GroKo. The SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil refused already brusquely on Sunday evening. He spoke of a “broken union”. Laschet did not explicitly rule out the option on the day after the federal election – but made it clear that the option was not “high on the agenda” for either the SPD or the Union.
Greens: Baerbock leaves the main role to Habeck – first a ministerial office to “grow”?
Baerbock, however, was rather narrow-lipped after the comparatively weak performance of the Greens. It put climate policy on display as a key issue, but at the same time supported the course of exploratory secrecy. In the talks between the Greens and Liberals, in addition to common ground, it is important to be able to talk to one another in a trusting manner, she explained. “Otherwise it is doomed to failure from the start.” At the same time, the ex-Chancellor candidate took refuge in irony when asked about these similarities. Agreeing the incompatible should actually become Habeck’s task.
Whereby Baerbock should not disappear from the scene. The backing from the party sounded somewhat patronizing, however. The party leader was a “political talent”, quoted the FAZ Green. Above all, there is a lot of support from colleagues from the parliamentary group. The candidacy for chancellor may have come too early – Baerbock could “still grow” in a ministerial office. The 40-year-old, who also failed in the race for the direct mandate in Potsdam, declared on Monday that she was “in a very special role of responsibility”.
Bundestag election: Greens and FDP open coalition poker – CDU problems could help the “traffic light”
It is still open, among other things, whether the Liberals and Greens want to row in the direction of a traffic light or a Jamaica coalition. The former would be an imposition for the FDP, the latter an imposition for the Greens. However, both parties could also use the constellation with the less popular “big partner” to demand further concessions. For example, the thesis is circulating that Habeck could become finance minister under Union leadership, and Lindner under SPD leadership. Both politicians are aiming for the decisive office.
But it also remains to be seen how strong the Union will be capable of forming a coalition. Laschet continued to be quite optimistic on Monday – but possibly also because the Chancellery could be his only political salvation. Meanwhile, things seem to be fermenting here and there in the Union parties. There was also talk of a “Chancellor Söder” or Merz on Monday in the back rows of the CDU. It is possible that after the struggle for the candidacy for chancellor, the next mud fight is imminent. After all, the Greens have already cleared up such a problem quickly – by opting for Habeck. (fn)
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