E.It was already clear to the Greens shortly after 6 p.m. on Sunday: “The starting position for the federal election is completely different from that in Saxony-Anhalt,” says party leader Annalena Baerbock. And she already has an explanation for the sobering result ready: To prevent the AfD from becoming the strongest force, many voters supported the party of Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU). This phenomenon has already been observed in other East German countries.
But Baerbock cannot hide her disappointment: “We hoped for more”. The Greens would have liked to have achieved a double-digit result in Saxony-Anhalt. In the meantime, in some surveys, it looked like this might work. But now they are just a little better off than in 2016, when they just moved into the state parliament with 5.2 percent. The East remains a difficult place for the Greens.
“We are where we wanted to be”
But the Greens in the federal government not only lack the tailwind from Magdeburg. Michael Kellner, the federal managing director, also speaks of “tough headwinds” in the federal election campaign. “We are where we wanted to be”, he told the FAZ, namely “in a duel situation with the Union”. But the exchange of blows has recently become tougher, the Greens had to take a lot. “Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more slander and attacks below the belt, especially in social networks,” said Kellner.
After it became known that Baerbock had not reported additional income to the Bundestag, the CSU posted a photo montage on Instagram that showed the party leader with a halo and a thought bubble in which three piles of poop were depicted. Hans-Georg Maaßen, the former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and a controversial CDU candidate in southern Thuringia, asked on Twitter whether it was a “coincidence or a cipher” that the initials Baerbocks – her three first names are Annalena Charlotte Alma – are ACAB, an abbreviation for “All cops are bastards ”, meaning“ All cops are pigs ”, and was pleased with“ 777,000 impressions within a few hours ”. On social media, Baerbock has been tagged with a past as a nude model. False reports are circulating that she wants to ban pets in order to save CO2 and abolish the widow’s pension in order to spend the money on the integration of refugees.
But there are also home-made problems that are probably one of the reasons why polls for the Greens no longer turn out quite as high. They have been behind the Union for around two weeks. No party had railed so loudly against the alleged “black felt” at the CDU and insisted on stricter transparency rules for MPs. And then Baerbock, of all people, had to admit that she had “forgotten” to register additional income totaling around 25,000 euros in three years. Even if the money came exclusively from the party – including a Christmas bonus and a corona surcharge – the question arose as to whether claims and reality fit together here. Baerbock said several times how annoyed she was about this mistake, but then there was another shortly afterwards.