D.He signed a joint agreement of the three traffic light parties, the “Future Exhibition House” at the Futurium in Berlin, a kind of informal cabinet meeting. Ministers lined up for group photos or selfies. Appointed Health Minister Carl Lauterbach (SPD) soon greeted Agriculture Minister Chem Astemire (Greens) with a sneer: “Who are you?” The two cell phone numbers were then exchanged. People made fun and laughed. As soon as the ceremony was over, the incumbent President Olaf Scholes (SPD) ended without saying “thank you very much”. Lotterback tweeted: “Now the real project begins …” – Government work on the traffic light.
But it is in full swing. The latest draft law to control the fourth corona wave was drafted by the SPD, the Greens and the FDP. The Grand Alliance is not yet in office. Scholz de facto already attended the last prime ministerial conference as head of government. Lotharbach was not introduced as a minister-designate on Monday, having already joined his future predecessor Jens Spann (CDU) on a virtual committee with state health ministers. Even before the Chancellor and the Minister take office, this Central Government is co-ruling. Olaf Scholz’s government committee is a kickstart cabinet.
This is unique in the history of the Republic. No federal government has ever faced such a crisis since its inception as the first traffic light alliance at the federal level. In the coming months it will only be about one thing: having a corona. “This challenge undoubtedly controls the course of government,” said Chem zdemir WELT. Christine Lambrecht (SPD), who has been appointed Minister of Defense, says “epidemic management will drag on at all cabinet meetings.” “Former federal governments also came to power in times of crisis. But the epidemic is unique in its impact and duration, ”said Hubert Hale, an SPD politician who was appointed Labor Minister.
“Awakening and progress” are the slogans of the red-green-yellow alliance, but they must wait first. Now it’s about crisis management – with consequences for all other ambitious plans of the coalition. “We have to set priorities in this situation. Not all options are possible,” said Christian Lindner Welt, who was appointed finance minister.
Addressing his cabinet colleagues, the FDP leader warned of “exaggerated expectations” given the current challenges – Heil and future Minister of Climate Defense and Economy Robert Habeck (Greens) immediately confirmed. You start with the expansion of renewable energies through the “obvious setback” and you have to accelerate at a great pace. This seems to be not only a difficult balancing act, but also an expected traffic light collision.
If Scholz is elected president this Wednesday with the votes of the SPD, Greens and Liberals as planned, he will be the ninth head of government, regardless of whether it is an oil, refugee or financial crisis: none of his. The pioneers have so far introduced a comparable emergency slider. Previous governments usually had 100 days to know about their offices; Unwritten law guaranteeing a political break. There is not yet a day for the Traffic Lighting Alliance.
So iron discipline in review talks, coalition talks, sharing of ministerial posts, appointment of department heads etc. And all the above secrecy. One mistake – and the table is disturbed as the epidemic worsens.
Of course, previous federal governments have also endured difficult times of crisis and managed unforeseen circumstances. But these crises were of a different nature, and they became dangerous only after they had been declared or the alliances had become accustomed to each other and found political regularity and determination.
The first red-green federal government had a very difficult time in this regard. He took office at the end of October 1998. When Helmut Kohl (CDU) was handed over to Heckhard Schrder (SPD), a federal president never had to face this: the question of war and peace, the question of Bundeswehr’s first foreign recruitment. Other NATO countries. But unlike the corona epidemic that is currently making its way into traffic lights, the threatening situation in Kosovo only developed at that time.
After the failure of all international diplomatic negotiations, NATO launched airstrikes on military targets in other parts of Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999 to force the Serbian president to withdraw his Soldeska from Kosovo. The German hurricane flew with them. Within three months, Milosevic had given up; German soldiers evacuated their camps in Macedonia and marched on Kosovo with the British and Americans as part of the KFOR unit – to the delight of the majority of people of Albanian descent.
Participation in the Kosovo war particularly affected the Greens. There were resignations and violent arguments in the party’s parliamentary committee. But held by the Government. It also survived the Central Armed Forces mission in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, when Schrder pledged to the United States the “unlimited unity” of the Germans. The Schrder / Fischer government collapsed due to other, home-created crises, keyword: Hearts IV.
Without a web and a false bottom
The global financial crisis of 2008 was the next international emergency favored by the federal government. In retrospect, the appearance of President Angela Merkel (CDU) with her then finance minister, Peer Steinbrook (SPD) in “Black October” is entirely legendary. The Germans feared for their savings, and the fear of bank operation was high in the government district. “We say savers’ deposits are safe. The federal government is responsible for that, “said Merkel.
Steinbrück joined, the news came. Fear did not come down to the cushions at home, as the savers’ money remained in the accounts. The origins of Merkel and Steinbrook were significant because there was no basis for their promise. As Steinbrook later admitted, things could have gone much wrong. But the political signal was ultimately stronger than the turmoil in the financial markets.
The process shows: In times of crisis, politicians sometimes have to act without the web and the wrong base. Of course, you must have the courage to do it first. How decisive is the traffic light cabinet?
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