tv Quadriga - Government Wanted - How Weak is Merkel Deutsche Welle February 9, 2018 1:30pm-2:01pm CET
are just going to have a future. i really understand people who say they don't want to stay here. but i also admire people who want to stay here and who decided to create something . peace time what needs to happen if tolerance and reconciliation or to stand a chance darkness cities new york starting march tenth g.w. . hello and welcome to quadriga germany's include close of election in september assured in pro long drag link between chancellor angela merkel and the panoply of potential coalition partners but now following the longest period of political deadlock in post-war german history an end may be in sight after merkel's christian democrats
embarked on a difficult courtship with an initially reluctant bride it looks like the new coalition will be a reset of the old once again germany's two biggest parties the conservative c.d.u. and the center left social democrats are set to form what's known as a grand coalition that is if the bride can be persuaded to go along for it remains to be seen whether the social democratic party base will approve the deal so is this at best a marriage of convenience lacking in vision or could this grand coalition outperform expectations. government wanted how weak is medical that's our topic on quadriga and here our guests charlotte potts is a political correspondent here at the w and she also works for the german broadcaster. she says the new grand coalition lacks vision and. posters with us once again he's a commentator for the daily newspaper duval's and he says if americans grand coalition holds she'll be the strongest politician in the us however the s.p.d.
rank and file could put a spanner in the works and then america would be the weakest politician in the west and it's great to have you on the show once again he's a dutch journalist and a political analyst who also worked for the election campaign of the social democrats in germany and in the netherlands he says this continuity of grand coalition politics might lead to stability and progress in europe but also the growing polarization within germany. show that the coalition agreement which is essentially the blueprint for the government and its goals and plans has a visionary title this is it new impetus for europe new dynamism and cohesion for germany your opening statement seems to indicate that you don't think the content lives up to that billick that it's very true i mean i think those are grand words that do want to paint a vision for the next four years but if you look at those one hundred seventy nine pages it is really lacking vision what we're seeing here is basically easy fixes to
underlying problems so we're seeing a lot of presents for a lot of voter groups for example families with children or pension years we're giving out a little bit of money here and they're spending the big bucks but they this coalition agreement is not really addressing the underlying problems that germany will have to face and that will make germany fit for the future and i'm talking about a very broken pension system for example a very urgent need for digitalisation to bring reception to areas that still. without any cell phone reception and many other issues and it is not addressing that in the matter which the two big parties in germany could address was there would you agree with that just taking digitalisation for example this coalition agreement says that it's going to establish a right on the part of every german citizen no matter where they live to have high speed broadband by two thousand and twenty five there are number of clauses in the
coalition agreement about education to provide digital skills there's quite a breakthrough in terms of the federal government's role in the education system does that really all amount to nothing oh it doesn't amount to nothing. i don't see how you can guarantee someone access to you know a legal right to access to broadband technology if the firms it's responsible don't provide that i mean. i think governments and keep out of that we're supposed to be a market economy why does the government decide stuff like that quite generally as far as huge as ation is concerned i don't think that's a government thing it's or should we say capitalism provides that let capitalism provide it you know i mean i don't understand why phone users in germany if they can't get access don't go out of to change their provider and you know what i mean . but the whole coalition think it's not nothing i mean. i think old age pensioners
for instance will be glad and future pensioners will be glad of the stuff this this government's providing them. but i agree. that it's something tired and old about this. third grand coalition we've had something tired old about the social democratic party which has been in government only four years outside since one thousand nine hundred eight and i think you know it's more a thing than you know than you could for. into this does not point in the in the in the one hundred seventy nine pages and say together with social democratic parties i want to put a question to you about the social market economy as it's known here in germany both of the party leaders when they presented this agreement professed strong allegiance to the social market economy and if you look at the coalition agreement it does contain
a number of provisions that go in the direction of strengthening security for workers and hansing. it may not go as far as charlotte says it should but at hanson pensions changing labor market and so on is the system of moderated capitalism that is in trying to in this social market economy is that really still appropriate for the times that we live in well we have to see about that if it's appropriate to thing is that. you see that disco addition i think is a continuation of the sort of social market economy that we have already in the germany already know since the last ten twenty years and. the s.p.d. has never been able to put more ideology ideology and it and especially this time the last time in two thousand and thirteen at least they have like minimum wage which was an anchor you know that they could show to voters like they really are changing something in germany like you said it's a comma here it's a comma there it's a few percent here it's
a few percent there. the social problems in germany even though it's economy goes well are still pretty big the differences between income flex work are still relatively big i don't see speedy having a coherent story about this so there it's they they participate in a sort of conservative social market economy which is very seedy you found it in a lot of our last twenty years after that at all. you know if anyone has given up. on on their. their ideas surely it's it's it's macro spotty shortage the christendom has there's nothing conservative in that in that program plus the s.p.d. the social democrats get ministry of finance right they get the foreign ministry right they get the social ministry they get three key ministries the. macas fox he doesn't get a single key ministry so when it comes to who actually gets the money to
do what they want to do it's it's going to be the social democrats who decide and not the christian democrats this is amazing if they can't sell that point the concept on the thing charlotte quite a bit of money is involved this could be one of the most expensive coalitions ever if it does in fact keep all its promises forty five billion just for new projects the head of the social democratic party still head of the social democratic party because apparently it's going to step down from that position martin truex said when he presented the agreement that it had the stamp all over it would you agree with that well i think so i mean it's not very detailed so we can can't really tell but i think it caters to the labor unions that caters to the workers there are some improvements immediate improvement for for workers and terms of contracts that all made it in there also in terms of health care so very domestic issues that the
s.p.d. could put its stamp on and i i agree that the ministry posts the personalities that they are pushing forward now within the social democrats that is a huge deal and the tense. had herself yesterday it it's been it's been painful and there have been huge concessions made and using the finance ministry for her party that was a big deal so it's all that enough to convince the s.p.d. members do you think they do still have to vote on this coalition agreement and should they torpedo it we won't have a new government anytime soon i think it's pretty members to have a knife and that's roads they have like two options are they going to support this grand coalition. maybe not or through enthusiastic but with good minister bows with a change in leadership at the same time or begun to bring germany into a political crisis so. littering the fact that there are some social elements in this in this new agreement and at the same time this heavy post and as ministries i
don't think. the voters cannot ignore and they have to approve this discoloration agreement i don't see it feel any more. what do you think. many of the new members who joined seem to have done so expressly for the purpose of voting no i mean this is one of the big scandals of german politics that the youth organization of the social democratic party had it has been had a has been having a complaining going on for the past weeks join the party and vote no so you can and you can be all you have to do is to be fourteen years old you don't even need german citizenship a fourteen year old person shall we say of turkish origin who doesn't want to become a german consumer decide basically who gets to run the country can bring the government down it's it's incredible to my feeling that this should be allowed but the highest court in the land just decided yesterday that this is legal i think it's
a scandal disgraceful well yeah and i think at the youth organization they do have a lot of. feedback in terms of i mean they have a very strong leader at the moment with kevin communities are and he came out and said this grand coalition agreement he was flabbergasted about it that they could at the social democrats could sell this as a success so i think the opposition within the social democrats what we see and then what we'll see in the next weeks will be big but we shouldn't forget the social democrats are a grand old party so to say in germany and they have a lot of old members that will probably vote for this country no nation so i am quite hopeful that actually this deal what will be pushed through by the membership it is of course not only social democrats who say that they are not at all sure they want to see another grand coalition a majority of germans said in a recent poll that they in fact are not enthused about the prospect.
german commentators have been writing that if these proposals that have been made in this coalition agreement on education on pensions on digitalisation and much more had been made by the german equivalent of a manual macaw people would be talking about an exciting new impetus so is the problem not the policies but the personnel let's take a look. uncle america's conservative alliance won last september's federal election but what the sharply reduced share of the vote her political fortunes were fading. and the social democrats turned in their worst performance of the poll since one nine hundred forty nine. some newspapers called on the chancellor to stand up and take charge of germany's political future but americal didn't seem prepared to do that. i don't know how we could have done things differently and. first the chancellor tried to build a coalition with the greens and the free democrats. but that effort failed when the
f.d.p. walked out of the negotiations afterward merkel kept a low profile and refused to play the blame game. then martin schulz rather reluctantly agreed to preliminary talks with the conservatives on forming a grand coalition now the two sides appear to have hammered out a coalition agreement will angle americal have what it takes to lead the coalition . what do you think. the fact is the c.d.u. has lost an important ministry finance maybe even two if you look at the fact that a new super interior ministry will be going to the very young conservatives the sister party but not always friendly to. city you and as we mentioned there is a rather social democratic cast to a lot of this coalition agreement suggests that leaves the chancellor significantly
weaker. yes and. the this is a further point that the coalition is built in the sort of end chancellorship is saying that in two years they're going to review their performance and see what they have to do this basically means that in two years you know the opposition within. the c.d.u. has the chance to build up a new candidate to succeed and give her the position to retire gracefully probably saying well we did what we could and it's great you know i'm going in there going to thank i give a flowers and of the center off and then i think it's going to get really interesting see which way the c.d.u. goes presumably is going to tack to the right but i would say. she's holding on but not for long show that you said in your opening statement that she lacks vision but mightn't she develop it in this last term in office many leaders do
suddenly begin to think about the history books in their last term would you expect that's possible here or she becomes a lame duck i mean she had the chance to really change bring about change for twelve years and forget governing for twelve years and i think they see she had made a lot of improvements for germany and some reforms but never she was never a politician of grand vision and i don't see that coming in the next four years i think she is severely weakened on a national level after really the last four months have been a disaster for her and very difficult in trying to form this coalition government. globally in the end i think it won't matter i think she will still play a very strong role as chancellor as the german chancellor will be very well regarded but nationally she lost political capital and it will be very hard for her in the next four years even though its successor we also have to say that it's not inside she's been keeping them very on the down low and the two that i thought.
might be rising within the party did not get ministry post as far as we know so it's going to be interesting to see who will rise up within the party in the next four years you have jets in one of the achilles heels of the chancellor perhaps the ecclesia was immigration her decision to open germany's doors in two thousand and fifteen strongly criticized including by this but very and conservatives i just mentioned they will now take charge of the interior ministry does that mean that we are going to see a strict upper limit on immigration and essentially c.s.u. interior ministry minister possibly flouting uncle americal while flouting maybe not but i mean it's already a pretty big thing i think that they already agreed on it's a little bit diffuse they agreed on between one hundred eighty and two hundred thousand migrants a year which is already kind of a victory for sees you and i think what you have seen with marcos she has from the
moment on that you open the borders and she said like. us. then from that moment on she started to to have a much more right wing chorus on me gratian much more strict of course she had a very tough integration policy and restricted migration policy and under the leadership of the this years you if you can you can assume that there will be some more tough measures on integration and migration but in which direction that goes it's still very vague in the everyman's alan if merkel is significantly weaker what does that mean for europe. well i think this is what this coalition means for brazil is the following schultz is going to be inches from the s.p.d. is going to be foreign minister he's the most euro file foreign minister. government germany has ever had maybe barring him would call himself he is going to
aim for a sort of a mock call type europe a tight integration of the euro zone possibly a european finance minister european economic economics minister possibly even euro bonds and obviously america isn't going to stop in big because the finance votes from struggle in the finance ministry who struck with europe now the s.p.d. has got that too so this is quite include i mean i'm i magine champagne bottles of popping all over the palace and the ballet mall the siege of the european commission in same fact one person who has been waiting a very long time for a german government to get up and running is french president emmanuel mccall in a speech at the store bun last september he outlined his vision of europe's future including a common strategy on financial foreign and defense policy he said quote i don't have red lines i have only horizons americal and martin schultz agree on many european policy issues including the implementation of e.u.
reforms and strengthening the european economy against increasing international competition so will the new grand coalition if it indeed comes to power be able to take bold new measures on european and foreign policy you know mr mccall actually time to that speech that we just saw excerpts from to coincide with the german election in the hope of influencing coalition to go she he has made it clear he's waiting for a response from berlin and what i heard from a number of conservative parliamentary members yesterday as i was in the bundestag was that they say they are now ready to get into the driver's seat next to my craw so is europe the main reason why people should be excited about this coalition agreement. yeah maybe you just don't need the only topic you can be really excited about it i have the idea don't think though that germany is going to lead the process i think germany is going to let france a micro. you know paid his horizons and germany will follow and the left and right
there will stop someone and they will. then just say the debt and the beta debt yes but yeah i think after the break student after the financial crisis we had a europe it's definitely europe's lex visioned of we already know that since this is some more since twenty thirty years i think now is definitely to johns with someone like schultz on the nose the foreign minister is a driven politician he is a he's eloquent he can he can paint a picture about europe and together with michael i think this is something to be excited about not necessarily and mine country in the netherlands but in and big parts of europe they will be very happy with this going to show it quite fascinating actually that the title of the agreement that i read out in the beginning of the show mentions europe before germany yeah and actually the first five pages of the agreement on europe before they move on to germany i think that's absolutely fascinating it's kind of a post statement and probably the first one of its kind in
a coalition agreement so i have to say that is that is quite the amazing thing about this coalition agreement if you look closer though and i'm playing devil's advocate here but if you look closer then you realize that they propositions are quite in concrete so let's call for example he proposed a shared asylum agency he proposed a shared finance minister budget to set the sense budget a set troops for the european union all of this is not mentioned in the german coalition agreement and it's very in concrete and that's not conquer in concrete that though is the fact that the s.p.d. will now hold the finance ministry they will hold the foreign and the finance ministry that is a very significant departure from the last. grand coalition and there is certainly mention in the coalition agreement of greater investment in the european union including to fight youth unemployment that's not negligible is it absolutely and i think the southern countries will be very happy about it greece and spain and
others who've been really. looking with much hatred towards germany and its austerity asperity policies and the former finance minister so that is quite exciting for them to see that germany will end its thirty course and will invest more in the european union but if it goes as far as my call wishes go i doubt that you have your opening statement talked about the potential for another grand coalition to exacerbate polarization you know in germany will this coalition if it does indeed come into being will it by working on europe help fight right wing populism in europe as a whole and what implications does that have for germany now i think in dystopic is that was a big risk i think you can be so pro european like like like martin shoes and like the s.p.d. and they can go on merkel shows and showed herself but this is exactly part of the problem a lot of people also in germany who vote for populist parties they they feel their
identity threatened their identity is strongly german but they see a governor government's. transcending the sovereignity to the european union. so that's that's definitely a risk factor if you cannot get these people along on your story in the european union you're going to have a problem on the long term. but i think the internal cohesion in germany is in risk also because this coalition doesn't have any idea about how to multicultural society about integration of big groups of minorities and there is not much in this coalition agreement and those are the answers many germans who vote for bribery of populist parties want to hear right now. clearly the rise of right wing populism in germany was one of the driving factors for at least much of the language that was put into the coalition agreement alan posner and also quoted by party
leaders as they presented the coalition agreement saying that they had listened to the concerns and needs of ordinary germans do you think a grand coalition can strike a real blow against the new right wing nationalist party here in germany you know for the reasons that you said. the coalition is going in the opposite direction of what the the right wing the alternative for germany. which is now the main opposition party by the way the biggest opposition party going in the opposite direction even though the new interior ministry will include a homeland section yeah well a homeland section but look. the so-called right wing mr hoover from bavaria he's he's saying we can accept two hundred thousand migrants a year that's a million in five years that's not trivial let's ten times more than just a mark on twenty times more than than tourism a or anyone else wants except so no and they don't want the a.f.d. the right wing don't want more europe so this is going to lead to an even greater
polarization what i see happening i have to say is that in the latest in four years' time you're going to see the the christian democrats post michael christian democrats. tack to the right form a coalition with a f.t. and we will be back to two two two. left vs right which would by the way be a great thing for the s.p.d. because they don't have to do anything to do is stay where they are and say we're defending what we achieved in two thousand and seventeen eighteen very very briefly while we're on prediction show the projects are titled grand coalition government wanted this may not be the cause of the government germany wanted but could it give me alternatives for the government charlie needs and a very very bad. government right now and the chancellor and that will be daniel thank you thanks to all of you for being with us today and thanks to all of you out there for tuning in.
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