BERLIN — The Social Democrats’ contender to be Germany’s chancellor wants to team up with the Greens in the next federal government.
“I would like to govern together with the Greens,” Olaf Scholz told the Berlin-based newspaper Tagesspiegel.
A third party will likely be needed to secure a majority since the Social Democrats are polling at 25 percent and the Greens at around 17 percent, according to POLITICO’s Poll of Polls election tracker.
To form a government following the September 26 federal election, the two parties will probably need to secure the support of the liberal Free Democrats, polling at 12 percent, or possibly the far-left Die Linke, polling at 7 percent.
According to the aggregate polling data, the conservative Christian Democrats have slipped to 21 percent.
While Scholz said the SPD and Greens had “different objectives” he added there were “a lot of overlaps” in specific policy areas.
Among the issues that the SPD and Greens agree on are raising the national minimum wage to €12 per hour, boosting renewable energies and turning Germany into a hotspot for the development of clean vehicles.
Scholz said any governing deal would need to include commitments to the transatlantic alliance and membership of NATO, potential sticking points for Die Linke.
In an interview published Sunday, the boss of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union Markus Söder called on the ailing conservatives to play up the prospect of a left-wing government as part of efforts to claw back support.
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), 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.
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. “If the Union is not in government, the party will face the toughest times,” Söder warned.
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.