Green Government Members: The Return of Wing Fighting?

To analyse

Status: 11/26/2021 1:26 a.m.

Long and controversial – almost as in the old days – the Greens have argued about the filling of the ministerial posts in the Ampel government. The Realos won the decisive duel. Özdemir becomes a minister, not a rider.

By Kristin Joachim and Christian Feld, ARD Capital Studio Berlin

Late on Thursday evening, the green party members received an email from their federal manager Michael Kellner. It is short, but the few lines are tough. The news documents the end of a power struggle in the green party. It has been decided who should be part of the traffic light government team.

Kristin Joachim
ARD capital studio

Christian Field
ARD capital studio

Robert Habeck takes over the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection as Vice Chancellor. Annalena Baerbock is to become the first German foreign minister. Anne Spiegel from Rhineland-Palatinate is intended for families, senior citizens, women and youth. The environment, nature conservation, nuclear safety and consumer protection department should go to Steffi Lemke. Food and Agriculture: Cem Özdemir. Final post on the list: Claudia Roth as Minister of State for Culture and Media.

Distribution of ministerial posts in the Greens

Christian Feld, ARD Berlin, night magazine 12:20 a.m., 11/26/2021

Like in the old days

The Greens argued about the composition for 24 hours. It was an argument that is reminiscent of times gone by. It is the return of the wing battles that seemed to have been overcome by the chairman duo Baerbock and Habeck at the latest. Early on Thursday there were increasing signals that the decision about the staff was crunching. A scheduled committee meeting will be postponed.

The clock was ticking. The Federal and State Forum of the Greens was drawing closer. In Berlin’s Westhafen, where the traffic lights had presented their coalition agreement the day before, the Greens wanted to give the go-ahead for the online vote on content and the planned staff. But that was exactly where the party got stuck. Flugelzoff.

Özdemir has what was missing so far

Baerbock and Habeck, two Realo camps, were set. Cem Özdemir is not without controversy in the party, but he had an enormous result in the general election. He also has what the previously known Ampel staff is missing: a migration background. In 1994 he was the first member of the Bundestag with Turkish roots. “Roots for the future” – the oversized lettering on the stage takes on a whole new meaning.

Can they afford not to bring him into the cabinet? Supporters ask. The party left emphasizes other criteria. Özdemir would be the third Realo representative for five ministerial posts. The left did not see its own positions adequately represented.

With the mail in the late evening, the power struggle is resolved. Even if Lemke, Spiegel and Roth are now three strong left-wing women for the Greens in the cabinet of the Ampel government – the Realos have won the decisive duel between Hofreiter and Özdemir. They have just negotiated successfully, it is said from left circles. Baerbock and Habeck had spoken out in favor of him from the start. A test of strength that they too passed.

What will become of Hofreiter?

It is said that how things will continue for Anton Hofreiter has not yet been conclusively clarified. For a long time, the parliamentary group chairman and doctorate in biology was considered set for a ministerial post in the next government with the Green Party. Now he is likely to have fallen victim to the claims of his own party. The Greens had given themselves a statute of diversity a year ago, but so far they have hardly filled important posts afterwards. Özedmir’s migration background should have played a central role, because the professional suitability for the Ministry of Agriculture would clearly have been with Hofreiter.

Anton Hofreiter’s performance at the coalition negotiations was probably not unimportant for the decision. As head of the transport working group, he should not have done a good job, say even the left-wing Greens behind closed doors. He was poorly prepared and negotiated unwise. Hofreiter could have gambled away his claim to a ministerial post.

Green parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter was first acted as transport and then as environment minister. Now he comes away empty-handed.

Bild: picture alliance/dpa

Power struggle does not throw a good image on Greens

The tough power struggle in the background does not throw a good picture on the Greens. They really stumbled into the start of the traffic light government. At the beginning of their time as party chairmen, Baerbock and Habeck had done a lot to ensure that they support the state, are professional and capable of governing. Are there any controversial issues that threaten to break out in the government in the near future? And how can it be that such important decisions on personal details have not been prepared?

After the election campaign debacle, the impression is once again that the Greens underestimated what it means to become a ruling party.

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