New government possible before Christmas
The SPD, the Greens and the Left rate the start of the coalition negotiations as positive
The first day of the coalition negotiations in Berlin is over and everyone involved has spoken out positively. But there are difficult points to clarify, for example finances, how to deal with the expropriation referendum and administrative reform.
Almost four weeks after the election to the Berlin House of Representatives, the SPD, the Greens and the Left began their coalition negotiations on Friday. After the eight-hour start of the negotiations, all those involved expressed their opinion positively.
The SPD state chairman Franziska Giffey spoke of a good working atmosphere. They agreed on all the points that were planned for Friday. The top candidate of the Greens, Bettina Jarasch, said that they had also talked about financial issues. It is clear that one has to prioritize the projects. Left-wing top candidate Klaus Lederer emphasized that they wanted to be a government for the whole city. Berlin has to function, whether in administration or in traffic.
The politicians did not comment on specific content.
Difficult point: finances
Leading politicians from the SPD, the Greens and the Left, the so-called “umbrella group”, will meet regularly over the next few weeks and decide which topics and what formulations will be included in the coalition agreement.
The suggestions for this are being worked out by 16 working groups that cover certain subject areas, were set up on Friday and are supposed to start on Monday. The most important working groups include those for budget and finance, for urban development, building, renting, for mobility and for economics. The parties each send five to eight representatives to the groups.
With a view to the “Budget and Finances” group, the SPD, the Greens and the Left had already declared before the coalition negotiations began that in retrospect, the expenditures of the previous Senate were too lavish. But you shouldn’t save yourself from the Corona crisis either, you have to invest wisely.
Lederer calls for a compromise in referendums
Another difficult point is likely to be dealing with that successful referendum “expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co”. In the morning at the rbb, Lederer called on those involved to seek a compromise when dealing with the referendum. Nobody can ignore the fact that 57 percent of the vote were in favor of expropriating large housing companies, he said on Radioeins. The question of how the new Senate deals with the vote could be a sticking point. Because while the left advocates the expropriation of large housing companies, the SPD has repeatedly spoken out against it.
However, Giffey emphasized in the evening in the rbb that the referendum was clear and must be respected. At the beginning of the year, a commission of experts is to be set up, which should have one year to examine a possible implementation. The Senate will then decide on the basis of the Commission’s recommendation. “It’s also about not failing again with a political path before the Constitutional Court,” Giffey alluded to the burst Berlin rent cap.
Giffey: Constitution to be changed for administrative reform
Administration is also one of the issues that the future coalition partners will have to talk about. The outgoing mayor of Pankow, Sören Benn (left), said on Inforadio that the administration has too few staff and processes must be accelerated. In addition, it is often not clear whether responsibility lies with the Senate or the districts. If necessary, this would have to be clarified by amending the state constitution.
Giffey explained in the rbb that it was up to the state government to put the districts in a position to carry out their tasks. In addition to better staffing, there should also be structural changes, according to Giffey. To do this, you have to go to the constitution, she said. Giffey was confident that the necessary two-thirds majority in parliament would be achieved. “In the election campaign everyone emphasized how important a functioning administration is,” said the SPD politician.
New government possible before Christmas
In the course of the coalition negotiations, the specialist groups should work until November 8th, i.e. two weeks. Then the “umbrella group” wants to bring everything together. Controversial points for which the working groups could not find a solution are also decided there.
Once the coalition agreement is in place, party committees must decide on it. To this end, party congresses will take place at the beginning of December, the left has scheduled its on December 4th, the SPD on December 5th. The Left is also planning a membership decision.
Broadcast reference: Inforadio, 10/22/2021, 7:00 a.m.