BERLIN — Germany’s Christian Democrats should highlight fears of a left-wing coalition to win back the support they need to stay in government after the September 26 federal election, Markus Söder, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, said in an interview published Sunday.
Talking to Welt am Sonntag, Söder warned that defeat for the Christian Democrats could open the way for a left-wing government involving the Die Linke (The Left) party, successor to the former East Germany’s communists.
“We have to make it even clearer that there are only two options: Either a slide to the left with The Left party or with a traffic light coalition,” Söder said. A traffic light coalition is the name given to a possible combination of Social Democrats, Greens and the liberal Free Democrats, based on their party colors.
Both scenarios would lead to “unemployment and debt,” according to Söder.
The Social Democrats, who have moved ahead of the center-right in opinion polls, have not formally ruled out an alliance with the far left, although party leader Olaf Scholz has hinted he wouldn’t embrace such a deal.
Söder unsuccessfully tussled with Armin Laschet this year to become chancellor candidate for the center-right bloc comprising his CSU and the Christian Democratic Union, led since 2000 by Angela Merkel . With the conservatives now firmly in second place behind the resurgent Social Democrats he reckons more needs to be done to turn things around.
“If the Union is not in government, the party will face the toughest times,” Söder warned, as the centre-right languishes on around 20 percent in national polling, an historic low.
Meanwhile, the prospect of a Social Democratic win in Germany is encouraging the centre-left elsewhere in Europe. “If there is change in Germany, Spain and Germany could be engines of a new progressive concept which, I think, would go down very well in Europe,” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said interview published Sunday in El Pais.